Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) causes irreversible functional loss of the affected population. The
incidence of SCI keeps increasing, resulting in huge burden on the society. The pathogenesis of SCI
involves neuron death and exotic reaction, which could impede neuron regeneration. In clinic, the limited
regenerative capacity of endogenous cells after SCI is a major problem. Recent studies have demonstrated
that a variety of stem cells such as induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs), Embryonic Stem
Cells (ESCs), Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and Neural Progenitor Cells (NPCs) /Neural Stem
Cells (NSCs) have therapeutic potential for SCI. However, the efficacy and safety of these stem cellbased
therapy for SCI remain controversial. In this review, we introduce the pathogenesis of SCI,
summarize the current status of the application of these stem cells in SCI repair, and discuss possible
mechanisms responsible for functional recovery of SCI after stem cell transplantation. Finally, we highlight
several areas for further exploitation of stem cells as a promising regenerative therapy of SCI.
Keywords: Chondrogenic differentiation, adipogenic differentiation, neurons, endothelial cells, schwann cells, nucleus, pulposus-
like cells, cardiomyocytes, alveolar epithelial cells.
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