Opportunities for Axon Repair in the CNS: Use of Microglia and Biopolymer Compositions

  • Joshua B. Stopek
  • Wolfgang J. Streit
  • Eugene P. Goldberg


The failure of severed CNS axons to regenerate and to reconnect after injury is thought to be due to both insufficient expression of pro-regenerative genes by central neurons, and to an inhibitory microenvironment at the lesion site. Regarding the latter, astroglial scarring and presence of inhibitory myelin proteins are believed to represent major obstacles to axon regeneration. In addition, the inflammatory response within the CNS white matter is slow to develop, especially with regard to macrophage recruitment, and it is likely too weak to trigger sufficient local production of required growth-promoting molecules (Perry et al. (1987); Schwartz et al. (1999)). Transplantation of fetal neural tissue has been studied as one method for filling cystic spinal cord lesions, and has shown some promise for promoting functional recovery (Diener and Bregman (1998); Bregman et al. (1997); Anderson et al. (1995), Reier et al. (1994); Bregman et al. (1989)). However, while fetal tissue transplantation may allow filling of a lesion cavity, host fibers in adult animals tend to terminate within fetal transplants, rather than grow across them (Reier et al. (1983)). The same problem may also arise with neural stem cell transplants, which are increasingly being investigated for their benefit in spinal cord repair (Cao et al. (2001); Liu et al. (2000)).


Schwann Cell Silk Fibroin Injured Spinal Cord Biomed Mater Peripheral Nerve Regeneration 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua B. Stopek
  • Wolfgang J. Streit
  • Eugene P. Goldberg

There are no affiliations available

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