This research sheds light on the natural regeneration that occurs in the area of damaged spinal cord tissue. The surprise here is the role that Edendymal Progenitor Cells are playing in repair mechanism vs Neural Stem Progenitors.
In this publication, researchers have employed genetic fate mapping to characterize a candidate neural stem cell population in the adult spinal cord and show that close to all in vitro neural stem cell potential resides within the population of ependymal cells. Ependymal cells give rise to a substantial proportion of scar-forming astrocytes as well as to some myelinating oligodendrocytes after spinal cord injury. Modulating the fate of ependymal cell progeny after injury could potentially promote the generation of cell types that may facilitate recovery after spinal cord injury.
Meletis K, Barnabé-Heider F, Carlén M, Evergren E, Tomilin N, et al. (2008) Spinal Cord Injury Reveals Multilineage Differentiation of Ependymal Cells . PLoS Biol 6(7): e182 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060182