Glial cell transplantation and the repair of demyelinating lesions

William F. Blakemore, Robin J.M. Franklin and Mark Noble

in Glial Cell Development

Published in print November 1997 | ISBN: 9781872748542
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724367 | DOI:

Series: The Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology Series

Glial cell transplantation and the repair of demyelinating lesions

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Gliotoxin-induced demyelination and myelin-deficient animals are experimental models that have been used to demonstrate that host axons can be myelinated by transplanted cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Moreover, transplant-derived myelin sheaths will improve conduction along the otherwise amyelinated axons of the myelin-deficient rat. The ability to bring about repair of experimental models of myelin-deficiency by transplanting glial cells has fostered the belief that similar approaches may have a role in the treatment of naturally occurring demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. However, before glial cell transplantation can make the transition from experimental tool to therapeutic procedure, the answers need to be found to a number of key questions, foremost amongst which are: (i) What cells should be used? (ii) Where will the cells come from? (iii) Will transplanted cells migrate towards and myelinate areas of demyelination in adults? (iv) Will transplanted cells remyelinate axons that have been demyelinated for months or years, such as those found in chronic nonrepairing multiple sclerosis plaques? (v) To what extent is knowledge acquired in small rodents applicable to larger mammalian species and eventually man? The answers to these questions are currently being pursued and are the focus of this chapter.

Keywords: demyelination; multiple sclerosis; gliotoxin; glial cell transplantation; myelin deficiency; glial cells

Chapter.  5828 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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