Spinal cord injury (SCI) involves damage to the spinal cord causing both structural and functional changes, which can lead to temporary or permanent alterations. Even though there have been many advances in its treatment, the results of clinical trials suggest that the current therapies are not sufficiently effective. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in regulating this harmful environment by transplanting cultured cells and boosting their antiinflammatory cytokines and growth factors production. Several types of cells have been studied for SCI therapy including, Schwann cells (SC’s), olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), choroid plexus epithelial cells (CPECs), and immune cells (ICs) (lymphocytes, dendritic cells and alternative macrophage and microglia phenotypes). These treatments have shown to be promising and in this chapter, we will review the general aspects of transplanting these cells for SCI therapy as well as the neuroprotective and regenerative responses that different types of cells have reached in different SCI models. The mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are one of the most well studied cell types; however, they were not included in this section because they will be reviewed in another chapter of this book.
Part of the book: Spinal Cord Injury Therapy
Since multipotential and immunoregulatory properties were identified in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the twentieth century, they have been proposed as an effective therapy for many degenerative and traumatic diseases such as spinal cord injury (SCI). SCI is a devastating event with a high mortality rate that evokes the loss of motor and sensory functions due to neurochemical imbalance and an exacerbated immune response as a consequence of the initial mechanical damage, which in conjunction creates a hostile microenvironment that inhibits neuronal circuitry restoration. This chapter pretends to lead the reader towards the immunomodulatory, differentiation, and tissue repairing capacities of MSCs that allow them to be a valuable candidate for clinical trials. In the first section, the physiopathology of SCI will be addressed; after that, the chapter will review the general aspects of MSCs such as origin, molecular markers, and the different mechanisms by which MSCs can heal the target tissues. Finally, we will discuss clinical trials involving autologous MSC transplantation and their limitations.
Part of the book: Paraplegia