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Neural Regen Res. 2015 Jan;10(1):10-6. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.150638.

Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cell therapies for spinal cord injury.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences, University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
  • 2Department of Neurosciences, University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA ; Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Diego, CA, USA.


The greatest challenge to successful treatment of spinal cord injury is the limited regenerative capacity of the central nervous system and its inability to replace lost neurons and severed axons following injury. Neural stem cell grafts derived from fetal central nervous system tissue or embryonic stem cells have shown therapeutic promise by differentiation into neurons and glia that have the potential to form functional neuronal relays across injured spinal cord segments. However, implementation of fetal-derived or embryonic stem cell-derived neural stem cell therapies for patients with spinal cord injury raises ethical concerns. Induced pluripotent stem cells can be generated from adult somatic cells and differentiated into neural stem cells suitable for therapeutic use, thereby providing an ethical source of implantable cells that can be made in an autologous fashion to avoid problems of immune rejection. This review discusses the therapeutic potential of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cell transplantation for treatment of spinal cord injury, as well as addressing potential mechanisms, future perspectives and challenges.


astrocytes; axonal growth; axonal regeneration; differentiation; human; neuronal relay; neurons; neuroprotection; oligodendrocytes; remyelination; secondary degeneration; transplantation

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