Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition and major burden on society and individuals. Currently, neurorestorative strategies, including stem cell therapy products or mature/functionally differentiated cell-derived cell therapy products, can restore patients with chronic complete SCI to some degree of neurological functions. The stem cells for neurorestoration include neural stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, etc. A better understanding of the merits, demerits and precise function of different stem cells in the treatment of SCI may aid in the development of neurorestorative strategies. However, the efficacy, safety and ethical concerns of stem cell-based therapy continue to be challenged. Nonetheless, stem cell-based therapies hold promise of widespread applications, particularly in areas of SCI, and have the potential to be novel therapeutics, which contributes to the repair of SCI. This review mainly focused on recent advances regarding the stem cell-based therapies in the treatment of SCI and discussed future perspectives in this field.
This work was supported by the State Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81330042); the International Cooperation Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (81620108018); the Special Program for Sino-Russian Joint Research Sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, China (2014DFR31210) and the Key Program Sponsored by the Tianjin Science and Technology Committee, China (13RCGFSY19000 and 14ZCZDSY00044).
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