Designing cell- and gene-based regeneration strategies to repair the injured spinal cord

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


There is an array of new and promising strategies being developed to improve function after spinal cord injury (SCI). The targeting of a diversity of deleterious processes within the tissue after SCI will necessitate a multi-factorial intervention, such as the combination of cell- and gene-based approaches. To ensure proper development and design of these experiments, many issues need to be addressed. It is the purpose of this review to consider the strategies involved in testing the efficacy of these new combinations to improve axonal regeneration. For cell-based therapy, issues are choosing a SCI model, the time of cell implantation, placement of cells and their subsequent migration, fluid versus solid grafts, use of agents to prevent immune rejection, and tracking of implanted cells. Grafting is also discussed in view of improving function, reducing secondary damage, bridging the injured spinal cord, supporting axonal regrowth, replacing lost neurons, facilitating myelination, and promoting axonal growth from the implant into the cord. The choice of a gene delivery system, gene-based therapies in vivo to provide chemoattractant and guidance cues, altering the intrinsic regenerative capacity of neurons, enhancing endogenous non-neuronal cell functions, and targeting the synthesis of growth inhibitory molecules are also discussed, as well as combining ex vivo gene and cell therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-452
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Axonal regeneration
  • Cell-based therapies
  • Gene-based therapies
  • Grafting
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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