A study published recently in The Journal of Neuroscience discusses a possible therapeutic strategy for spinal cord injury (SCI), using neural stem cells to promote the recovery of motor activity.

Researchers suggest that the transplantation of neural stem cells could help promote the repair of an injured spinal cord. This particular study was performed to gain more insights into the interaction between donor stem cells and the resident cells that are part of the body’s immune response to injury, per a media release from the Society for Neuroscience.

In their study, researchers Hal Nguyen, Aileen Anderson and colleagues observe 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, the release explains.

[Source(s): Society for Neuroscience, Science Daily]