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Stem cell-based therapies to treat spinal cord injury: a review

Authors Shi Z, Huang H, Feng S

Received 14 April 2017

Accepted for publication 14 June 2017

Published 3 July 2017 Volume 2017:5 Pages 125—131

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JN.S139677

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Hari Shanker Sharma

Zhongju Shi,1,2 Hongyun Huang,3 Shiqing Feng1,2

1Department of Orthopaedics, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, 2Institute of Neurology, Key Laboratory of Post-Neuroinjury Neuro-Repair and Regeneration in Central Nervous System, Ministry of Education, Tianjin City, Tianjin, 3Institute of Neurorestoratology, General Hospital of Armed Police Forces, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition and major burden on society and individuals. Currently, neurorestorative strategies, including stem cell therapy products or mature/functionally differentiated cell-derived cell therapy products, can restore patients with chronic complete SCI to some degree of neurological functions. The stem cells for neurorestoration include neural stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, etc. A better understanding of the merits, demerits and precise function of different stem cells in the treatment of SCI may aid in the development of neurorestorative strategies. However, the efficacy, safety and ethical concerns of stem cell-based therapy continue to be challenged. Nonetheless, stem cell-based therapies hold promise of widespread applications, particularly in areas of SCI, and have the potential to be novel therapeutics, which contributes to the repair of SCI. This review mainly focused on recent advances regarding the stem cell-based therapies in the treatment of SCI and discussed future perspectives in this field.

Keywords: spinal cord injury, neural stem cells, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells

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