Peripheral Nerve Repair with Cultured Schwann Cells: Getting Closer to the Clinics

Article, Review English OPEN
Rodrigues, Maria Carolina O. ; Rodrigues, Antonio Antunes ; Glover, Loren E. ; Voltarelli, Julio ; Borlongan, Cesario V. (2012)
  • Publisher: The Scientific World Journal
  • Journal: The Scientific World Journal, volume 2,012 (issn: 2356-6140, eissn: 1537-744X)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC3373143, doi: 10.1100/2012/413091
  • Subject: Review Article | Science (General) | Q1-390 | Article Subject

Peripheral nerve injuries are a frequent and disabling condition, which affects 13 to 23 per 100.000 persons each year. Severe cases, with structural disruption of the nerve, are associated with poor functional recovery. The experimental treatment using nerve grafts to replace damaged or shortened axons is limited by technical difficulties, invasiveness, and mediocre results. Other therapeutic choices include the adjunctive application of cultured Schwann cells and nerve conduits to guide axonal growth. The bone marrow is a rich source of mesenchymal cells, which can be differentiated in vitro into Schwann cells and subsequently engrafted into the damaged nerve. Alternatively, undifferentiated bone marrow mesenchymal cells can be associated with nerve conduits and afterward transplanted. Experimental studies provide evidence of functional, histological, and electromyographical improvement following transplantation of bone-marrow-derived cells in animal models of peripheral nerve injury. This paper focuses on this new therapeutic approach highlighting its direct translational and clinical utility in promoting regeneration of not only acute but perhaps also chronic cases of peripheral nerve damage.
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