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Arch Ital Biol. 2017 Dec 1;155(4):118-130. doi: 10.12871/00039829201743.

Are there endogenous stem cells in the spinal cord?

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Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, via Roma 55, 56126, Pisa, Italy - Email:


Neural progenitor cells (NPC) represent the stem-like niche of the central nervous system that maintains a regenerative potential also in the adult life. Despite NPC in the brain are well documented, the presence of NPC in the spinal cord has been controversial for a long time. This is due to a scarce activity of NPC within spinal cord, which also makes difficult their identification. The present review recapitulates the main experimental studies, which provided evidence for the occurrence of NPC within spinal cord, with a special emphasis on spinal cord injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. By using experimental models, here we analyse the site-specificity, the phenotype and the main triggers of spinal cord NPC. Moreover, data are reported on the effect of specific neurogenic stimuli on these spinal cord NPC in an effort to comprehend the endogenous neurogenic potential of this stem cell niche.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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