Treatment of Syringomyelia Characterized by Focal Dilatation of the Central Canal Using Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Neural Stem Cells

Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2024 Jun;21(4):625-639. doi: 10.1007/s13770-024-00637-1. Epub 2024 Apr 5.


Background: Syringomyelia is a progressive chronic disease that leads to nerve pain, sensory dissociation, and dyskinesia. Symptoms often do not improve after surgery. Stem cells have been widely explored for the treatment of nervous system diseases due to their immunoregulatory and neural replacement abilities.

Methods: In this study, we used a rat model of syringomyelia characterized by focal dilatation of the central canal to explore an effective transplantation scheme and evaluate the effect of mesenchymal stem cells and induced neural stem cells for the treatment of syringomyelia.

Results: The results showed that cell transplantation could not only promote syrinx shrinkage but also stimulate the proliferation of ependymal cells, and the effect of this result was related to the transplantation location. These reactions appeared only when the cells were transplanted into the cavity. Additionally, we discovered that cell transplantation transformed activated microglia into the M2 phenotype. IGF1-expressing M2 microglia may play a significant role in the repair of nerve pain.

Conclusion: Cell transplantation can promote cavity shrinkage and regulate the local inflammatory environment. Moreover, the proliferation of ependymal cells may indicate the activation of endogenous stem cells, which is important for the regeneration and repair of spinal cord injury.

Keywords: Cell therapy; Immunomodulation; Mesenchymal stem cells; Neural stem cells; Syringomyelia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ependyma
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation* / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Neural Stem Cells* / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley*
  • Syringomyelia* / therapy