Schwann Cell-Mediated Axonal Regeneration in the Central Nervous System

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The enigmatic Schwann cell has intrigued scientists for the past century, spanning the exposition of its general function to application to the central nervous system (CNS) trauma. A resident for function in the peripheral nervous system, the Schwann cell may seem an unlikely candidate for promoting axonal regeneration in the injured spinal cord. However, more than 30. years of research have revealed multifaceted capabilities of this remarkable glial cell when transplanted either as a component of a spinal nerve graft, or directly into the spinal cord, in axon growth as well as myelination. In addition, Schwann cells produce neuroptrophins that can alter their environment, involving host cell, as well as axon stimulation and interaction. Schwann cells can be derived from many sources for use in transplantation therapy following CNS injuries, including from embryonic, stem cell, and adult host tissue. Despite our knowledge on the Schwann cell and its function, challenges still exist for maximizing its ability for promoting axonal connections and neurological recovery following CNS injuries. Limitations in the abilities of the Schwann cell, including poor survival and insufficient promotion of axon growth out of the graft, and inhibition presented by the injured host cord environment contribute to these hurdles. Nonetheless, developments in the clinical application of Schwann cell transplantation have broadened our understanding of the potential for experimental translation for the treatment of human CNS injuries. This chapter provides an overview of basic Schwann cell biology and function, and highlights key benefits of these cells in promoting axon growth in the injured CNS. The chapter discusses (1) advances of Schwann cell-mediated regeneration in the injured CNS using spinal cord injury as a unique model, and (2) future directions for better understanding and overcoming obstacles that are associated with Schwann-cell-transplantation-mediated recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeural Regeneration
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128018347
ISBN (Print)9780128017326
StatePublished - Feb 6 2015


  • Central nervous system
  • Regeneration
  • Schwann cells
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Schwann Cell-Mediated Axonal Regeneration in the Central Nervous System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this