The Action of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in the Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Spinal Cord Injury

  • G. Zafeiropoulou
  • J. Vlamis
Keywords: “spinal cord injury”, “hematopoietic stem cells”, “transplantation”


Spinal cord injury (SCI) often leads to catastrophic neurological deficits that dramatically reduce a person’s quality of life. Stem cells have attracted particular interest as a potential source for cell regeneration therapy after SCI.

The purpose of this study is to review the action of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in the pathophysiological mechanisms of SCI. A literature review was conducted based on the Pubmed internet database, following the PRISMA Guidelines. Article titles were searched with the use of the keywords: (“hematopoietic stem cells” OR “HSCs”) AND (“spinal cord injury”). The search included only animal and clinical studies evaluating the action of hematopoietic stem cells in the pathophysiological mechanisms of SCI. Studies published in non-English language, reviews, case reports and study protocols were excluded.

Initially, 39 studies were identified after primary search on Pubmed electronic database. After screening of titles and abstracts, 21 articles were excluded. Among the remaining 18 studies, 9 were rejected as review articles. After checking the references list of the included studies, 13 more studies were added, leaving 22 studies for final analysis. There were 10 clinical studies and 12 animal studies.

The transplanted HSCs may integrate with the host cells in the injured spinal cord tissue, modulating immune and inflammatory reactions. Moreover, they have been associated with axon regeneration and remyelination along with a reduction of glial scar. HSC transplantation has shown promising results in the treatment of SCI, having the potential to repair the injured spinal cord and to enhance functional recovery. However, most studies are experimental and further human studies are needed to fully elucidate the role of HSC in SCI.


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Author Biographies

G. Zafeiropoulou

1Postgraduate Training Program, KAT Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

J. Vlamis

1Postgraduate Training Program, KAT Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

23rd Orthopaedic Department, KAT Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece


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