Spinal cord injury is a serious neurological disease, and the life quality of spinal cord injury patients significantly declines. With the development of medical science, endogenous neural stem cells as a treatment strategy for spinal cord injury have attracted widespread attention in recent years.OBJECTIVE:
To summarize the activation and differentiation of endogenous neural stem cells, as well as the mechanism in treating spinal cord injury.METHODS:
A computer-based online search of Wanfang database and PubMed database from January 2002 to March 2011 was performed for related articles about neural stem cells for treatment of spinal cord injury, with key words of “endogenous neural stem cells, spinal cord injury, differentiation” in Chinese and in English, respectively, by screening titles and abstracts. The documents associated with endogenous neural stem cells for treatment of spinal cord injury were selected, and those published recently or in authoritative journals were preferred in the same field. Totally 340 articles were obtained in initial retrieval, and 20 articles of them were chosen based on inclusion criteria.RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:
Endogenous neural stem cells have unique advantages as a new treatment. They can not only avoid the immune rejection and ethical issues, but also exist in adult individuals. Most endogenous neural stem cells can differentiate into astrocytes and oligodendrocytes rather than neurons. More neural stem cells can differentiate into neurons through the regulation of signal transduction pathways, which plays an important role in the treatment of spinal cord injury.