Treatment of spinal cord injury by transplantation of human neuroepithelial-like stem cells derived from iPS cell (March 15, 2012)
The efficacy of transplanting neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPS-NSCs) for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI) has just begun to be investigated, using the mouse as a model. Recently, Professors Austin Smith (University of Cambridge) and Oliver Brustle (University of Bonn) and their coworkers have developed a protocol for generating long-term self-renewing neuroepithelial-like stem (lt-NES) cells, which satisfy the criteria to be defined as NSCs, from several different lines of human iPS cells.
In a collaboration with Professor Smith, Professor Kinichi Nakashima, team-member Yusuke Fujimoto and their coworkers in the Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Graduate School of Biological Sciences have recently shown that transplanted human iPS-derived lt-NES (hiPS-lt-NES) cells have therapeutic potential for SCI treatment in the mouse model. They also suggested that hiPS-lt-NES cell transplantation promotes recovery of hind limb motor function through the reconstruction of the corticospinal tract, and restores disrupted neuronal circuitry in a relay manner. Their study raises the possibility that human iPS cell-derived NSCs can be used in the treatment of spinal cord injury in humans.