The astrocytic cell responses to injury have been extensively studied in a variety of experimental models, and the term “astrogliosis” is often used to describe the astrocyte reactions to injury. Cells responding in these ways to injury are often referred to as “reactive astrocytes.” Glial scarring appears to be a critical feature of wound healing in the central nervous system (CNS), since elimination of the mitotically active contingent of reactive astrocytes leads to increase in the size of the wound. Reactive astrogliosis is a term coined for the morphological and functional events seen in astrocytes responding to CNS injury. The concept of reactive astrogliosis and its molecular and cellular definition in spinal cord injury (SCI) is still incomplete. Producing several inhibitory molecules discourages regeneration of axons in the injured spinal cord. This inhibition is compounded by the poor regenerative ability of most CNS axons. This is probably a more achievable therapeutic target than axon regeneration, and an effective treatment would be of assistance to the majority of patients with partial cord injuries. Of course, understanding about astrogliosis and producing mediators and inhibitory molecules such as signaling pathways help us to develop new treatment strategies for SCI.
Part of the book: Spinal Cord Injury Therapy
Paraplegia is the damage or loss of function in motor and/or sensory abilities. This insult can be observed in the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral parts of spinal column. Besides, paraplegia may be occurring because of any injuries or diseases of the lower segments or peripheral nerves or by cerebral palsy (CP). This damage can be seen as a result of a tumor or blood clot on the spinal cord. By now, there is not any curative treatment for paraplegia. Using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment of spinal cord injury is a promising tested strategy because of their simplicity of isolation/preservation and their properties. Several preclinical studies in this field can be found; however, MSCs showed weak and conflicting outcomes in trials. In this chapter book, we will discuss about the therapeutic role of these cells in the treatment of paraplegia, with emphasis on their characterization, relevance, boundaries, and prospect views.
Part of the book: Paraplegia
Experimental models provide a deeper understanding of the different pathogenic mechanisms involved in Demyelinating disorders. The development of new in vitro and in vivo models or variations of existing models will contribute to a better understanding of these diseases and their treatment. Experimental models help to extrapolate information on treatment response. Indeed, the choice of the experimental model strongly depends on the research question and the availability of technical equipment. In this chapter, the current in vitro and in vivo experimental models to examine pathological mechanisms involved in inflammation, demyelination, and neuronal degeneration, as well as remyelination and repair in demyelination disorders are discussed. We will also point out the pathological hallmarks of demyelinating disorders, and discuss which pathological aspects of the disorders can be best studied in the various animal models available.
Part of the book: Demyelination Disorders