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Repairing spinal cord injury with manipulated neural stem cells

Date:
August 18, 2010
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
One of the most common causes of disability in young adults is spinal cord injury. Currently, there is no proven reparative treatment. However, hope that neural stem cells might be of benefit to individuals with severe spinal cord injury has now been provided new research using a mouse model of this devastating condition.

One of the most common causes of disability in young adults is spinal cord injury. Currently, there is no proven reparative treatment. Hope that neural stem cells (NSCs) might be of benefit to individuals with severe spinal cord injury has now been provided by the work of a team of researchers, led by Kinichi Nakashima, at Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan, in a mouse model of this devastating condition.

In the study, mice with severe spinal cord injury were transplanted with NSCs and administered a drug known as valproic acid, which is used in the treatment of epilepsy. The valproic acid promoted the transplanted NSCs to generate nerve cells, rather than other brain cell types, and the combination therapy resulted in impressive restoration of hind limb function. The authors hope that this approach, whereby the fate of transplanted NSCs is manipulated, for example by administration of valproic acid, could be developed as an effective treatment for severe spinal cord injury.

In an accompanying commentary, Tamir Ben-Hur, at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical School, Israel, highlights the impressive functional recovery attained using this approach but cautions that further work is needed before it can be determined whether this approach will work in human patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Abematsu et al. Neurons derived from transplanted neural stem cells restore disrupted neuronal circuitry in a mouse model of spinal cord injury. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI42957

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Repairing spinal cord injury with manipulated neural stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816122130.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2010, August 18). Repairing spinal cord injury with manipulated neural stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816122130.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Repairing spinal cord injury with manipulated neural stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816122130.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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