Open Access Review Article Issue
Progress in research into spinal cord injury repair: Tissue engineering scaffolds and cell transdifferentiation
Journal of Neurorestoratology 2019, 7 (4): 196-206
Published: 17 January 2020

As with all tissues of the central nervous system, the low regeneration ability of spinal cord tissue after injury decreases the potential for repair and recovery. Initially, in spinal cord injuries (SCI), often the surgeon can only limit further damage by early surgical decompression. However, with the development of basic science, especially the development of genetic engineering, molecular biology, tissue engineering, and materials science, some promising progress has been made in promoting the repair of central nervous system injuries. For example, transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs), olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), and gene- mediated transdifferentiation to repair central nervous system injury. This paper summarizes the progress and prospects of SCI repair with tissue engineering scaffold and cell transdifferentiation from an extensive literatures.

Open Access Original Research Issue
Intrathecal transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells by lumbar puncture for thoracic spinal cord injury in mice
Journal of Neurorestoratology 2017, 5 (1): 103-109
Published: 05 May 2017

To investigate the distribution and function of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) following lumbar puncture (LP) transplantation in mouse spinal cord injury (SCI).


OECs were transplanted by LP at level L3-5, 1 week after transected SCI at T8 vertebra. Mice were killed at 3, 21, and 56 days after LP transplantation, and the relative distribution of cells at T8 vertebra was quantitated. The injured spine was also tested by immunohistochemistry to assess neuron regeneration and scar bridging at 8 weeks posttransplantation. Motor functions of mice were evaluated during the observation period using the Basso Mouse Scale.


OECs were examined and confirmed by studying cell morphology under phase contrast and immunostaining of NGFR p75. LP-transplanted OECs could be detected just 3 days after transplantation (p75+ area: 0.16 mm2) and accumulated to 0.31 and 0.30 mm2 at 21 and 56 days postengraftment, respectively. The number of endogenous neurons, −400 to +400 µm, far from the epicenter, in OEC-transplanted mice was more than that in SCI mice without engraftment. SCI lesion of mice in the control group (164.3±3.97 µm) was much longer than that in OEC-grafted group (116.7±3.60 µm). Grafts of OECs induced significant functional improvement in mice that underwent T8 vertebral transection, just from 3 days after cell injection.


LP is a minimally invasive method for OEC transplantation to treat SCI. This is the first study to visualize the distribution and functions of LP-transplanted OECs in the intact and injured spinal cord.

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