The adult CNS, unlike its counterpart the peripheral nervous system (PNS), has little ability to repair itself after traumatic injury. Therefore, neurotrauma involving the brain or spinal cord has severe and long-lasting functional consequences for injured patients, as well as a massive financial and social impact on the affected families and the community at large. In particular, spinal cord injury (SCI) has provided scientists and clinicians with a challenging problem. In attempts to improve outcomes following SCI, numerous mammalian research models have been developed. Many of these models involve either transection or contusion injuries in rodents and experimental therapies include the transplantation of a range of cell types isolated from either the PNS or CNS. The authors focus on a cell type isolated from the olfactory system; olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). Some basic tenets of olfactory cell biology, key preclinical results suggesting a role for OECs in stimulating spinal cord repair and the strengths and limitations of this potential therapy are discussed. The current and future status of OEC transplantation in the treatment of human SCI is also considered.
|Publication status||Published - 2006|