The use of stem cells after spinal cord injury to repair damaged neurons and improve the function of paralyzed neural pathways continues to show promise as a potential future therapy. Now, new research from Drexel University College of Medicine and the University of Texas at Austin demonstrates that improved respiratory function can be obtained in rodents with spinal cord injuries after successfully transplanting a special class of neural cells called V2a interneurons. Findings from the new study were published recently in the Journal of Neurotrauma , in an article entitled “ Transplantation of Neural Progenitors and V2a Interneurons after Spinal Cord Injury .”

“Our previous study was one of the first to show that V2a interneurons contribute to plasticity, or the ability of the spinal cord to achieve some level of self-repair,” explained senior study investigator Michael Lane, Ph.D., an assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at …