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Growing knowledge about the role of neural progenitor cells supports the hope that stem cell-based therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring function in the lesioned central nervous system can be established. Possible therapies for promoting recovery after spinal cord injury include stimulating the formation of neurons and glial cells by endogenous progenitor cells. This article reviews the current knowledge about the nature of adult progenitor cells in the intact and injured spinal cord and summarizes possibilities and limitations of cellular replacement strategies based on manipulations of endogenous spinal cord progenitor cells and their environment.
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