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Current Research: Integrative Medicine

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Non-coding RNAs as key player in stem cell proliferation and differentiation; Potential therapeutic strategies in spinal cord injuries

Author(s): Marwa Matboli*, Shaimaa Mohamed*, Ayman El-Sayed Shafei, Hossam Khalaf, Mohamed Ashraf, Mohamed S. Riad, Badr Muhammad, Mahmoud Abd El-Gawad, Mohab Deyab, Islam Ramadan and Mahmoud A. Ali

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition which often results in the loss of sensory and motor function below the lesion site. The consequences of SCI constitute substantial burden to both the patient and society. Existing treatments for SCI injuries have proved inadequate, partly owing to an incomplete understanding of post-injury cellular and molecular changes. SCI triggers a multitude of pathophysiological events that are tightly regulated by the expression levels of specific genes. It has been shown that numerous non coding RNAs (ncRNAs), especially microRNAs (miRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), are differentially expressed following SCI. MiRNA and lncRNA could, as regulators of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level, affect the pathophysiology of SCI. In addition, these ncRNAs are emerging as key regulators of stem cell differentiation and proliferation, thus, manipulating their levels could improve future therapeutic neural stem cell transplantation strategies. This review will discuss the most common and well-established therapeutic strategies (specially focusing on stem cell and non-coding RNAs studies) in SCI management

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