Spinal cord injury: pathophysiology, treatment strategies, associated challenges, and future implications

Cell Tissue Res. 2019 Aug;377(2):125-151. doi: 10.1007/s00441-019-03039-1. Epub 2019 May 7.


Axonal regeneration and formation of tripartite (axo-glial) junctions at damaged sites is a prerequisite for early repair of injured spinal cord. Transplantation of stem cells at such sites of damage which can generate both neuronal and glial population has gained impact in terms of recuperation upon infliction with spinal cord injury. In spite of the fact that a copious number of pre-clinical studies using different stem/progenitor cells have shown promising results at acute and subacute stages, at the chronic stages of injury their recovery rates have shown a drastic decline. Therefore, developing novel therapeutic strategies are the need of the hour in order to assuage secondary morbidity and effectuate improvement of the spinal cord injury (SCI)-afflicted patients' quality of life. The present review aims at providing an overview of the current treatment strategies and also gives an insight into the potential cell-based therapies for the treatment of SCI.

Keywords: Biomaterial channels; Cell-matrix hybrids; Neural stem cells; Neuroregeneration; Remyelination; Spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neural Stem Cells / transplantation*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / therapy*
  • Spinal Cord Regeneration