Labeled Schwann cell transplantation: Cell loss, host Schwann cell replacement, and strategies to enhance survival

Caitlin E. Hill, Lawrence D F Moon, Patrick Wood, Mary B Bunge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Scopus citations


Although transplanted Schwann cells (SCs) can promote axon regeneration and remyelination and improve recovery in models of spinal cord injury, little is known about their survival and how they interact with host tissue. Using labeled SCs from transgenic rats expressing human placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), SC survival in a spinal cord contusion lesion was assessed. Few PLAP SCs survived at 2 weeks after acute transplantation. They died early due to necrosis and apoptosis. Delaying transplantation until 7 days after injury improved survival. A second wave of cell death occurred after surviving cells had integrated into the spinal cord. Survival of FLAP SCs was enhanced by immunosuppression with cyclosporin; delayed transplantation in conjunction with immunosuppression resulted in the best survival. In all cases, transplantation of SCs resulted in extensive infiltration of endogenous p75+ cells into the injury site, suggesting that endogenous SCs may play an important role in the repair observed after SC transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-343
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006



  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Apoptosis
  • Contusion
  • Immunosuppression
  • Necrosis
  • PLAP
  • Rat
  • Schwann cell
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Survival
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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