Researchers Have Developed a New Mechanism to Enhance Stem Cell Therapy for SCI

Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a leading cause of permanent neurologic disabilities in young adults. Functional impairments after SCI are substantially attributed to progressive neurodegeneration.

The use of stem cells is a novel therapeutic approach to help regenerate the damaged nervous system. 

In a new study researchers from the University of Manitoba, in Canada have developed a stem cell-based therapy that may eventually lead to new regenerative treatments for people with spinal cord injuries. The study appears in The Journal of Neuroscience. 

Using Neural Precursors Cells 

The use of neural precursor cells (NPCs) is a promising approach for replacing damaged neurons after spinal cord injury. However, neuronal differentiation and synaptic connectivity remain challenging in SCI. 

For the study, the team unraveled that activation of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG)/LAR/PTPσ axis impedes the capacity of transplanted human NPCs for replacing functional neurons. 

According to the study results, blocking LAR and PTPσ is sufficient to promote the regeneration of motorneurons and spinal V1 and V3 interneurons by engrafted human NPCs. 

The findings could result in new therapeutic strategies using NPCs by targeting this axis to ensure better and more successful transplantation.


Seyed Mojtaba Hosseini, et al. Suppressing CSPG/LAR/PTPσ Axis Facilitates Neuronal Replacement and Synaptogenesis by Human Neural Precursor Grafts and Improves Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury. 2022. J. Neurosci. DOI: 

UM Today News. (2022, Apr 13). UM researchers develop new stem cell therapy for treating spinal cord injuries. University of Manitoba Today News. Retrieved from:

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