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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2011 Dec;11(12):1591-7. doi: 10.1517/14712598.2011.628933. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Stem cells treatment for sciatic nerve injury.

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Felsenstein Medical Reasearch Center, Tel Aviv University, Petah Tikva, 49100, Israel.



Sciatic nerve injury is common and usually results in degeneration of the distal axons and muscle denervation. Chronic muscle atrophy and fibrosis limit the recovery of muscle function and severely compromises efforts to restore muscle function. Despite early diagnosis and modern surgical techniques there is still poor functional recovery.


Stem cell transplantation has been investigated as a promising treatment strategy for peripheral nerve injury, and has demonstrated utility in limiting neuronal damage. The focus has been on the isolation of stem cells from bone-marrow and adipose tissue in addition to embryonic and neuronal stem cells. Transplantation of these cells into transected sciatic nerve in animal models demonstrates clinical improvement, inducing vigorous nerve regeneration accompanied by myelin synthesis. Cell replacement, trophic factor production, extracellular matrix molecule synthesis, guidance, remyelination, microenvironmental stabilization and immune modulation have been postulated as possible mechanisms for stem cell implantation.


Although further research is still needed, this therapeutic approach will probably become a routine treatment technique in the coming years, especially with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. We believe that the most promising results were noted for the use of stem cells of this origin in the treatment of sciatic nerve injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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