Public Release: 

Using donor stem cells to treat spinal cord injury

Immune cells populating spinal cord after injury affect ability of stem cells to promote recovery

Society for Neuroscience

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IMAGE: Human neural stem cells are derived via fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) from donated fetal brain tissue. view more 

Credit: Hal X. Nguyen and Aileen J. Anderson

A new study in mice published in The Journal of Neuroscience details a potential therapeutic strategy that uses stem cells to promote recovery of motor activity after spinal cord injury.

The transplantation of neural stem cells could help promote repair of an injured spinal cord, but the interaction between donor cells and the resident cells that are part of the body's immune response to injury is not well understood.

Hal Nguyen, Aileen Anderson and colleagues found that mice receiving stem cells derived from donated human brain tissue required depletion of a specific population of immune cells in order to improve the mice's ability to walk along a glass plate. Although the donor cells survived equally when transplanted immediately or 30 days after injury, their location and cell type changed with time. These results suggest that immune cells populating the spinal cord at different time points after injury affect the ability of stem cells to promote functional recovery.

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Article: Systemic neutrophil depletion modulates the migration and fate of transplanted human neural stem cells to rescue functional repair

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2785-16.2017

Corresponding authors: Hal X. Nguyen, hnguyen@uci.edu and Aileen J. Anderson, aja@uci.eduaja@uci.edu (University of California, Riverside, USA)

About JNeurosci

The Journal of Neuroscience (JNeurosci) is the flagship journal of the Society for Neuroscience. JNeurosci publishes papers on a broad range of topics in neuroscience in a print edition each Wednesday and recently began publishing early-release PDFs of studies online shortly after acceptance.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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