Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Spinal Cord Injury

Monday April 30th, 2007 @ 15:33:13 EST

From Category: Use

Seoul, Korea -

Mesenchymal stem cells are utilized primarily for treatment of inflammatory conditions, for example the 2 clinical trials by Osiris therapeutics that are currently in Phase III are both treating graft versus host disease and Crohn's Disease...inflammatory conditions.

The potent ability of mesenchymal stem cells to assist in tissue healing through induction of endogenous regenerative activities has been demonstrated in numerous systems. In the current study the ability of mesenchymal stem cells to induce healing of spinal cord injury was assessed.

Lee et al. (Human mesenchymal stem cell transplantation promotes functional recovery following acute spinal cord injury in rats. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2007;67(1):13-22.) induced spinal cord injury in rats through the use of an impactor and after 7 days locally transplanted human expanded mesenchymal stem cells. Animals were observed for 2 months.

Ability to move the hindlimb was improved in the cell treated animals but not controls. Evidence of improvement was obtained both using somatosensory, as well as motor evoked potential tests.

Unfortunately whether regeneration was caused by differentiation of exogenously implanted cells or through trophic factors produced by the exogenously implanted cells was not studied.

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3 Comments | Add Comment

Gina said...

Created 2007-12-19 02:21:23 EST

What would be better is if somehow the stem cells did not need to be inserted locally. Systemic intravenous administration would be so much simpler. Unfortunately I guess that this is not possible right now.

Maybe it is? Did not issue a press release congratulating Osiris for the successes they had in heart failure through the intravenous administration of mesenchymal stem cells?

This is important. At a time when everyone is trying to do localized injections, the safety and applicability of being able to perform systemic injections would significantly allow for more widespread use of these technologies.

On the other hand it may be feasible to induce a temporary danger signal so as to induce homing of the cells.

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Jon Rowley said...

Created 2007-12-20 09:48:06 EST

To Gina's comment - cell delivery is a major challenge and question in cell therapy today. While it would be nice to just give intravenous delivery of cells - it is much more efficient and maybe even 'safer' to delivery cells locally. With local delivery, you can get a more reproducible 'dose' of cells exactly where they need to be, and minimize the 'biodistribution' of the cells (where the cells will end up in the body long term). Cells have been shown to be able to 'home' to an injury site when delivered intravenously, but it is an inefficient process and the cells end up distributing throughout the other organs of the body - potentially where you don't want them. I go into some of these aspects in a blog post that you can find here:

- 2 - said...

Created 2007-12-20 18:36:53 EST

Dear John,

Congratulations on a FANTASTIC BLOG !!! for everyone, the link is

John please tell us how to contact you.

you may email us directly at

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