Treatment of spinal cord injury with bone marrow-derived, cultured autologous mesenchymal stem cells

Sang Ryong Jeon, Jin Hoon Park, Jung Hwan Lee, Dae Yul Kim, Hyun Soo Kim, Inn Young Sung, Gyong Hyo Choi, Min Ho Jeon, Guang Gook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A number of animal studies have assessed the neurological benefits of stem cell therapy in spinal cord injury, showing that injected adult stem cells create an environment conducive for axonal regeneration. These studies have also demonstrated the safety of adult stem cell injection. Despite these generally positive findings, few human trials have been performed. Here, we initiated a clinical pilot study to analyze the effectiveness of autologous mesenchymal stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury in humans using changes in electrophysiological studies and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to quantitatively evaluate the results. A total of 8 × 106 autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were injected into the intramedullary space of ten cervical cord injured patients, and 4 × 107 cells were distributed into the intradural space. During the follow-up period (4 and 8 weeks after the first operation), 5 × 107 MSCs were injected by lumbar tapping. Results were evaluated preoperatively and during the third and sixth postoperative month by assessing Frankel/ASIA motor grade, measuring electrophysiological parameters (electromyography, nerve conduction velocity, somatosensory evoked potential, motor evoked potential), and enhanced MRI. There were no serious complications or side effects in any of the ten patients treated using the indicated protocol. One patient suffered moderate paresthesia during the first 10 months that subsided spontaneously. Six patients exhibited motor power changes; in three of these, performance of daily life tasks was improved. Electrophysiological and MRI changes were observed in five and six patients, respectively. Direct autologous MSC injection into the spinal cord was safe and caused no additional neurological damage. Furthermore, autologous MSC therapy resulted in neurological improvement, electrophysiological changes, and/or MRI changes in some cervical cord injured patients. Additional studies on the use of MSCs for SCI in larger patient populations are warranted to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-322
Number of pages7
JournalTissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of spinal cord injury with bone marrow-derived, cultured autologous mesenchymal stem cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this