Traumatic spinal cord injury is one of the most common causes of disability in young adults. Restoring independent ambulation in such patients is considered one of the biggest challenges in regenerative medicine because repair of spinal cord injury involves the complex processes of axonal regeneration, remyelination, and formation of new synaptic connections. In this issue of the JCI, Abematsu et al. report their attempts to rise to this challenge, showing in a mouse model of severe spinal cord injury that spinal neuronal circuits can be restored by neural stem cell transplantation, leading to impressive functional recovery in the hind limbs.
Regeneration of the injured spinal cord by neural stem cell transplantation.