Brain and spinal cord injuries present significant therapeutic challenges. The treatments available for these conditions are largely ineffective, partly due to limitations in directly targeting the therapeutic agents to sites of pathology within the central nervous system (CNS). The use of stem cells to treat these conditions presents a novel therapeutic strategy. A variety of stem cell treatments have been examined in animal models of CNS trauma. Many of these studies have used stem cells as a cell-replacement strategy. These investigations have also highlighted the significant limitations of this approach. Another potential strategy for stem cell therapy utilises stem cells as a delivery mechanism for therapeutic molecules. This review surveys the literature relevant to the potential of mesenchymal stem cells for delivery of therapeutic agents in CNS trauma in humans.
Keywords: Mesenchymal Stem Cell, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, stem and progenitor cells, (CNS) injury and disease, mesenchymal stem cells, genetic modification, brain injury, transplantation, cell-replacement paradigm, immunosuppression, myelinating oligodendro-cytes, electrophysiological evidence, allogeneic transplantations, dogenous cell, inflammatory response, concomitant administration, growth factors, astrocytes, glial cells, haematopoietic, intrinsic capacity, neurotrophic, granulocyte-macrophage, autocrine, fibroblasts, bone marrow, precursor cells, neuroprotection, neurorepair/neuroregeneration, inhibitory protein, apoptosis protein, survival factors, anti-apoptotic, locomotor performance, cortical impact, F-Actin retraction, cytoplasmic, microarray analysis, marker, tyrosine hydroxylase, ischaemic penumbra, neurotrophins, rubrospinal tract, Immunomodulatory Effects, pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1, macrophages, Graft-versus-Host Disease, haematopoiesis, Alginate-poly-L-ornithine, Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, Hurler syndrome, Sykova group, osteoblasts, adipocytes, chondrocytes
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