Due to the side effects in the pharmacologic approaches in the treatment of chronic pain, alternative strategies is an active area of research aimed at improving the therapeutic management of chronic pain. This chapter focuses on the potential for cellular transplantation approaches to address both of these aims. Cell transplantation strategies can be explored for a number of goals in the treatment of CNS disorders, ranging from replacement of lost or damaged neural circuitry to supplementation or provision of therapeutic pharmacologic molecules. Because pain management traditionally relies to a large extent on pharmacotherapy, the latter approach (and perhaps the simplest)-that of utilizing cellular transplants for provision of therapeutic molecules-has been the emphasis in the majority of preclinical studies in this field. The treatment of pain may be particularly amenable to this approach because cells can be placed noninvasively into the CSF, where they can act as pharmacologic mini-pumps to deliver therapeutic molecules to their target sites in the spinal cord. However, an alternative strategy may be replacement or supplementation of cells thought to become damaged or dysfunctional in pain-processing regions of the spinal cord, particularly for the treatment of chronic pain following injury to the CNS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)