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Ann Neurol. 2006 Jul;60(1):32-44.

Recovery from paralysis in adult rats using embryonic stem cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287-6965, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We explored the potential of embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons to functionally replace those cells destroyed in paralyzed adult rats.

METHODS:

We administered a phosphodiesterase type 4 inhibitor and dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate to overcome myelin-mediated repulsion and provided glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor within the sciatic nerve to attract transplanted embryonic stem cell-derived axons toward skeletal muscle targets.

RESULTS:

We found that these strategies significantly increased the success of transplanted axons extending out of the spinal cord into ventral roots. Furthermore, transplant-derived axons reached muscle, formed neuromuscular junctions, were physiologically active, and mediated partial recovery from paralysis.

INTERPRETATION:

We conclude that restoration of functional motor units by embryonic stem cells is possible and represents a potential therapeutic strategy for patients with paralysis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the anatomical and functional replacement of a motor neuron circuit within the adult mammalian host.

PMID:
16802299
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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