Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy has attracted the attention of scientists and clinicians around the world. Basic and pre-clinical experimental studies have highlighted the positive effects of MSC treatment after spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury. These effects are believed to be due to their ability to differentiate into other cell lineages, modulate inflammatory and immunomodulatory responses, reduce cell apoptosis, secrete several neurotrophic factors and respond to tissue injury, among others. There are many pre-clinical studies on MSC treatment for spinal cord injury (SCI) and peripheral nerve injuries. However, the same is not true for clinical trials, particularly those concerned with nerve trauma, indicating the necessity of more well-constructed studies showing the benefits that cell therapy can provide for individuals suffering the consequences of nerve lesions. As for clinical trials for SCI treatment the results obtained so far are not as beneficial as those described in experimental studies. For these reasons basic and pre-clinical studies dealing with MSC therapy should emphasize the standardization of protocols that could be translated to the clinical set with consistent and positive outcomes. This review is based on pre-clinical studies and clinical trials available in the literature from 2010 until now. At the time of writing this article there were 43 and 36 pre-clinical and 19 and 1 clinical trials on injured spinal cord and peripheral nerves, respectively.