STEM CELLS AND SPINAL CORD INJURY
M. Stojkovic UDC: (602.9:616.732-001.5-089.843)
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating disorder with detrimental implications for both, the individual and for society. Spinal cord injury has a profound effect on patient’s physical and psychosocial wellbeing because it often results in permanent loss of bodily functions affecting limb movement, somatosensation, reproductive organs, bladder and bowel. There are many strategies to cure SCI including transplantation of stem cells (SC). The main goal of SC based therapy for SCI is regeneration and replacement of neurons and glial cells that undergo cell death soon after injury and represents the newest and the most successful therapeutic approach for SCI enabling improved and efficient sensor and motor functions in animal models. These cells are able to promote remyelination via oligodendroglial cell replacement, produce trophic factors enhancing neurite outgrowth, axonal elongation and fibre density and activate resident or transplanted progenitor cells across the lesion cavity. Despite this there is a need to validate specific mechanisms for different SC sources and SC transplantation.