From Medical Xpress:

Biodistribution analysis shows how MAPCs (gold) home to the spleen, a primary reservoir for inflammatory cells in the body. The MAPCs were intravenously administered approximately one day after the spinal cord injury. Credit: Scientific Reports: Adapted from Figure 6-D.

When a blunt-force blow injures the spinal cord, the body’s immune system can be both friend and foe. Sensing the injury, the immune system dispatches an inflammatory response composed of specialized cells called macrophages to dispose of dead tissue. However, together with the debris and blood from the initial injury, the macrophages also clear away healthy tissue, resulting in a larger lesion size at the injury site and additional spinal cord injury loss of function.

What if it were possible to reduce the size of the lesion in the , thereby preserving more of the spinal cord and nerve function?

Scientists at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine have demonstrated that a family of therapeutic stem cells called multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPC) lessen the consequences of the ‘s damaging second wave response and preserve function that would otherwise be lost. Their findings, which resulted in significant improvements in motor and urinary function in lab animals, appear in the Nov. 19 edition of Scientific Reports, an online journal from the publishers of the journal Nature.

The research team led by Jerry Silver, PhD, professor of neurosciences at CWRU, demonstrated that MAPCs have the ability to modulate the aggressive behavior of macrophages in which they still…

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