Role of endogenous Stem/Progenitor cells in spinal cord injury and cellular transplantation

Funding Details
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Grant type: Operating Grant
  • Years: 2013/14 to 2018/19
  • Total Funding: $793,029
Keywords
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Project Summary

Cellular transplantation is deemed a viable approach to repair spinal cord injuries (SCI), however, the optimal cell for transplantation is still debated, and the mechanisms how transplanted cells improve function of the injured spinal cord are not well understood. In our previous work with transplantation of progenitor cells derived from the skin we observed that these stimulate the presence of more cells of their own kind from the host within the spinal cord injury site. Here we determine the origin of these host cells, their role in the repair process and the mechanisms how they become involved. We are focussing on the most frequently encountered stem cell/progenitor in the injured spinal cord and determine their role in the repair process. Ultimately the understanding of this process will open the door to better exploit this endogenous stem/progenitor cell response for a treatment of spinal cord injuries in humans that may not require the actual transplantation of stem/progenitor cells themselves but rather targets the host stem/progenitor cells with drugs.