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Peripheral Nerve Injury: Stem Cell Therapy and Peripheral Nerve Transfer

Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida College of Medicine, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Xiaofeng Jia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(12), 2101;
Received: 22 October 2016 / Revised: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics)
PDF [215 KB, uploaded 14 December 2016]


Peripheral nerve injury can lead to great morbidity in those afflicted, ranging from sensory loss, motor loss, chronic pain, or a combination of deficits. Over time, research has investigated neuronal molecular mechanisms implicated in nerve damage, classified nerve injury, and developed surgical techniques for treatment. Despite these advancements, full functional recovery remains less than ideal. In this review, we discuss historical aspects of peripheral nerve injury and introduce nerve transfer as a therapeutic option, as well as an adjunct therapy to transplantation of Schwann cells and their stem cell derivatives for repair of the damaged nerve. This review furthermore, will provide an elaborated discussion on the sources of Schwann cells, including sites to harvest their progenitor and stem cell lines. This reflects the accessibility to an additional, concurrent treatment approach with nerve transfers that, predicated on related research, may increase the efficacy of the current approach. We then discuss the experimental and clinical investigations of both Schwann cells and nerve transfer that are underway. Lastly, we provide the necessary consideration that these two lines of therapeutic approaches should not be exclusive, but conversely, should be pursued as a combined modality given their mutual role in peripheral nerve regeneration. View Full-Text
Keywords: regeneration; Schwann cells; nerve graft; axonal injury; combination therapy; growth factors regeneration; Schwann cells; nerve graft; axonal injury; combination therapy; growth factors

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sullivan, R.; Dailey, T.; Duncan, K.; Abel, N.; Borlongan, C.V. Peripheral Nerve Injury: Stem Cell Therapy and Peripheral Nerve Transfer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 2101.

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