International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol.13, No.10, 12911-12924, 2012
Peripheral Nerve Injuries and Transplantation of Olfactory Ensheathing Cells for Axonal Regeneration and Remyelination: Fact or Fiction?
Successful nerve regeneration after nerve trauma is not only important for the restoration of motor and sensory functions, but also to reduce the potential for abnormal sensory impulse generation that can occur following neuroma formation. Satisfying functional results after severe lesions are difficult to achieve and the development of interventional methods to achieve optimal functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury is of increasing clinical interest. Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) have been used to improve axonal regeneration and functional outcome in a number of studies in spinal cord injury models. The rationale is that the OECs may provide trophic support and a permissive environment for axonal regeneration. The experimental transplantation of OECs to support and enhance peripheral nerve regeneration is much more limited. This chapter reviews studies using OECs as an experimental cell therapy to improve peripheral nerve regeneration.