, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 578–587 | Cite as

Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Macrophage Choreography Supporting Spinal Cord Repair

  • Inés Maldonado-LasunciónEmail author
  • Joost Verhaagen
  • Martin OudegaEmail author


Spinal cord injury results in destructive events that lead to tissue loss and functional impairments. A hallmark of spinal cord injury is the robust and persistent presence of inflammatory macrophages. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are known to benefit repair of the damaged spinal cord often associated with improved functional recovery. Transplanted MSCs immediately encounter the abundance of inflammatory macrophages in the injury site. It is known that MSCs interact closely and reciprocally with macrophages during tissue healing. Here, we will review the roles of (transplanted) MSCs and macrophages in spinal cord injury and repair. Molecular interactions between MSCs and macrophages and the deficiencies in our knowledge about the underlying mechanisms will be reviewed. We will discuss possible ways to benefit from the MSC-macrophage choreography for developing repair strategies for the spinal cord.


Stem Cells Bone Marrow Immune Cells Healing Recovery Paralysis SCI 


Required Author Forms

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the online version of this article.

Funding Information

This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NS101298), Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (460461), and The Department of Veterans Affairs (I01RX001807).

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (PDF 1224 kb)
13311_2018_629_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
ESM 2 (PDF 1224 kb)


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Copyright information

© The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Miami Project to Cure ParalysisUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory for Regeneration of Sensorimotor Systems, Netherlands Institute for NeuroscienceInstitute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Neuroscience Campus AmsterdamVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  5. 5.Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical CenterMiamiUSA
  6. 6.Affiliated Cancer Hospital & Institute of Guangzhou Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina

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