Schwann cell transplantation and descending propriospinal regeneration after spinal cord injury

Ling Xiao Deng, Chandler Walker, Xiao Ming Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Scopus citations


After spinal cord injury (SCI), poor ability of damaged axons of the central nervous system (CNS) to regenerate causes very limited functional recovery. Schwann cells (SCs) have been widely explored as promising donors for transplantation to promote axonal regeneration in the CNS including the spinal cord. Compared with other CNS axonal pathways, injured propriospinal tracts display the strongest regenerative response to SC transplantation. Even without providing additional neurotrophic factors, propriospinal axons can grow into the SC environment which is rarely seen in supraspinal tracts. Propriospinal tract has been found to respond to several important neurotrophic factors secreted by SCs. Therefore, the SC is considered to be one of the most promising candidates for cell-based therapies for SCI. Since many reviews have already appeared on topics of SC transplantation in SCI repair, this review will focus particularly on the rationale of SC transplantation in mediating descending propriospinal axonal regeneration as well as optimizing such regeneration by using different combinatorial strategies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-114
Number of pages11
JournalBrain research
StatePublished - Sep 4 2015


  • Axonal regeneration
  • Descending propriospinal tract
  • Peripheral nerve
  • Schwann cell
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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