Human Neural Stem Cell–Mediated Repair of the Contused Spinal Cord: Timing the Microenvironment
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a debilitating and devastating condition that affects approximately 11,000 new people in the United States each year. Understanding of the pathophysiology and potential points of therapeutic intervention for human SCI has been shaped strongly by the results of studies performed in laboratory animals. This chapter discusses multiple targets for therapeutic interventions focusing on cell transplantation approaches, discusses the application of multiple cells types in SCI models, and considers how cell-intrinsic properties as well as exogenous factors in the host microenvironment may influence the ability of various cell populations to survive, differentiate, and promote locomotor recovery following SCI. Studies conducted on transplanting human central nervous system-derived neural stem cells (HuCNS-SCs) at selected time points along the acute to chronic continuum are described, demonstrating that, depending on timing, HuCNS-SCs have the ability to promote locomotor recovery and that the microenvironment influences cell fate.
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