Neuronal reprogramming in treating spinal cord injury

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spinal cord injury represents a devastating central nervous system injury that could impair the mobility and sensory function of afflicted patients. The hallmarks of spinal cord injury include neuroinflammation, axonal degeneration, neuronal loss, and reactive gliosis. Furthermore, the formation of a glial scar at the injury site elicits an inhibitory environment for potential neuroregeneration. Besides axonal regeneration, a significant challenge in treating spinal cord injury is to replenish the neurons lost during the pathological process. However, despite decades of research efforts, current strategies including stem cell transplantation have not resulted in a successful clinical therapy. Furthermore, stem cell transplantation faces serious hurdles such as immunorejection of the transplanted cells and ethical issues. In vivo neuronal reprogramming is a recently developed technology and leading a major breakthrough in regenerative medicine. This innovative technology converts endogenous glial cells into functional neurons for injury repair in the central nervous system. The feasibility of in vivo neuronal reprogramming has been demonstrated successfully in models of different neurological disorders including spinal cord injury by numerous laboratories. Several reprogramming factors, mainly the pro-neural transcription factors, have been utilized to reprogram endogenous glial cells into functional neurons with distinct phenotypes. So far, the literature on in vivo neuronal reprogramming in the model of spinal cord injury is still small. In this review, we summarize a limited number of such reports and discuss several questions that we think are important for applying in vivo neuronal reprogramming in the research field of spinal cord injury as well as other central nervous system disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1445
Number of pages6
JournalNeural Regeneration Research
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Astrocyte
  • MicroRNA
  • NG2 glia
  • NeuroD1
  • Neuronal relay
  • Neuronal reprogramming
  • Pericyte
  • Reactive gliosis
  • Sox2
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience

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