Latent lineage potential in neural stem cells enables spinal cord repair in mice

October 01, 2020

Spinal stem cells in mice can be reprogrammed to generate protective oligodendrocytes after spinal cord injury, enhancing neural repair, according to a new study. It reveals the latent transcriptional potential of mouse ependymal cells in findings that suggest that recruitment of resident stem cells through similar means may serve as an alternative to stem cell transplantation after central nervous system injury. "To realize the potential of ependymal cell in human spinal cord injuries, it will be necessary to determine whether similar stem cells exist near the human spinal cord central canal in sufficient numbers," write Catherina Becker and Thomas Becker in a related Perspective. In mammals, spinal cord damage destroys key cells, including oligodendrocytes, which provide the protective insulation surrounding neural "wiring." While resident stem cells, like ependymal cells, are present in the brain and spinal cord, they have a propensity to produce scar tissue instead of the replacement cells needed to repair damage after injury. Finding a way for endogenous stem cells to generate appropriate replacements is a main goal of regenerative medicine. Using single-cell transcriptome and chromatin accessibility analysis, Enric Llorens-Bobadilla and colleagues discovered that mouse ependymal cells possess the latent ability to differentiate into oligodendrocytes and help repair spinal cord damage in mice. Llorens-Bobadilla et al. demonstrate that the oligodendrogenic program, which is normally latent in adult ependymal cells, can be activated by expressing the transcription factor Olig2. Induced in vivo expression of Olig2 after spinal cord injury triggered local ependymal cells to rapidly produce new oligodendrocytes, which aided in axon repair and improved neural communication near the site of the damage.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Spinal Cord Injury Articles from Brightsurf:

Stem cells can help repair spinal cord after injury
Spinal cord injury often leads to permanent functional impairment. In a new study published in the journal Science researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden show that it is possible to stimulate stem cells in the mouse spinal cord to form large amounts of new oligodendrocytes, cells that are essential to the ability of neurons to transmit signals, and thus to help repair the spinal cord after injury.

Spinal cord injury increases risk for mental health disorders
A new study finds adults with traumatic spinal cord injury are at an increased risk of developing mental health disorders and secondary chronic diseases compared to adults without the condition.

Co-delivery of IL-10 and NT-3 to enhance spinal cord injury repair
Spinal cord injury (SCI) creates a complex microenvironment that is not conducive to repair; growth factors are in short supply, whereas factors that inhibit regeneration are plentiful.

IU scientists study link between energy levels, spinal cord injury
A team of researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine, in collaboration with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, have investigated how boosting energy levels within damaged nerve fibers or axons may represent a novel therapeutic direction for axonal regeneration and functional recovery.

UBCO professor simplifies exercise advice for spinal cord injury
Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis says a major barrier to physical activity for people with a spinal cord injury is a lack of knowledge or resources about the amount and type of activity needed to achieve health and fitness benefits.

Robotic trunk support assists those with spinal cord injury
A Columbia Engineering team has invented a robotic device -- the Trunk-Support Trainer (TruST) -- that can be used to assist and train people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) to sit more stably by improving their trunk control, and thus gain an expanded active sitting workspace without falling over or using their hands to balance.

Does frailty affect outcomes after traumatic spinal cord injury?
A new study has shown that frailty is an important predictor of worse outcome after traumatic spinal cord injury in patients less than 75 years of age.

Sleep and sleepiness 'a huge problem' for people with spinal cord injury
A new study led by a University of Calgary researcher at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) finds that fatigue and sleep may need more attention in order to prevent issues like stroke after spinal cord injury.

From spinal cord injury to recovery
Spinal cord injury disconnects communication between the brain and the spinal cord, disrupting control over part of the body.

Transplanting adult spinal cord tissues: A new strategy of repair spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury repair is one of the most challenging medical problems, and no effective therapeutic methods has been developed.

Read More: Spinal Cord Injury News and Spinal Cord Injury Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to