ePlasty: Vol. 9
Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: A Current Perspective
Christine Radtke, MD, and Peter M. Vogt, MD, PhD

Department of Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Carl-Neuberg Strasse 1, Hannover, Germany

Correspondence: Radtke.Christine@MH-Hannover.de

Objective: Nerve regenerative is a complex problem and cell therapy strategies are being developed to enhance axonal regeneration. One approach is to transplant peripheral myelin–forming cells (Schwann cells or olfactory ensheathing cells) that can secrete neurotrophic factors and participate in remyelination of regenerated axons. The objectives of this report are to first review the basic regeneration properties of myelinated axons. Next, to review studies that show functional improvement after transplantation of peripheral myelinating cells in the injured spinal cord. The final objective is to review recent studies using this approach as an adjunct cell therapy for microsurgical repair of peripheral nerve. Methods: Schwann cells and olfactory ensheathing cells were transplanted into injured spinal cord and peripheral nerve. In the microsurgical repair studies, rat sciatic nerves were repaired with epineural sutures (10.0). Olfactory ensheathing cells were transplanted in the experimental group at the time of repair. Histological and behavioral assessment was carried out at 5 weeks postsurgery. Results: Experimental transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells at the time of microsurgical repair of peripheral nerve leads to increased axonal regenerati .......