Transplant of cells which make biologic agents that can modulate the sensory and motor responses after spinal cord injury (SCI) would be useful to treat pain and paralysis. To address this need for clinically useful human cells, a unique neuronal cell line that synthesizes and secretes/releases the neurotransmitter serotonin (5HT) was isolated. Hind paw tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia induced by severe contusive SCI were potently reversed after lumbar subarachnoid transplant of differentiated cells, but had no effect on open fieldmotor scores, stride length, foot rotation, base of support, or gridwalk footfall errors associatedwith the SCI. The sensory effects appeared 1 week after transplant and did not diminish during the 8-week course of the experiment when grafts were placed 2 weeks after SCI. Many grafted cells were still present and synthesizing 5HT at the end of the study. These data suggest that the human neuronal serotonergic hNT2.19 cells can be used as a biologic minipump for receiving SCI-related neuropathic pain, but likely requires intraspinal grafts for motor recovery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology