Research ArticleSpinal Cord Injury

Survival of syngeneic and allogeneic iPSC–derived neural precursors after spinal grafting in minipigs

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Science Translational Medicine  09 May 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 440, eaam6651
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aam6651

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Stem cell transplants in pigs with spinal cord injury

Neural precursor cells (NPCs) hold promise for treating spinal cord injury (SCI). Testing viability and engraftment properties of NPC transplants in large-animal models is necessary for understanding the clinical potential of this approach. In a new study, Strnadel et al. transplanted syngeneic and allogeneic induced pluripotent stem cell–derived NPCs (iPSC-NPCs) into the spinal cords of naïve pigs and animals with SCI. The transplanted cells showed a good safety profile, long-term survival, and differentiation into mature neurons and glial cells. Successful engraftment of allogeneic iPSC-NPCs required only temporary immunosuppression, an important consideration for the future clinical evaluation of iPSC-NPCs for treating SCI.