Potential repair of rat spinal cord injuries using stimulated homologous macrophages

Michal Schwartz*, Orly Lazarov-Spiegler, Otto Rapalino, Ivgenia Agranov, Gad Velan, Moshe Hadani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


THE FAILURE OF the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) to regenerate after injury has long been viewed as a unique phenomenon resulting from the specific nature of this system. The finding that some CNS axons could be induced to regrow if provided with a permissive environment suggested that this failure is a result, at least in part, of the nature of the postinjury neuronal environment. It was further shown that the involvement of inflammatory cells, particularly macrophages, in postinjury processes in the CNS is limited. We have suggested that, to achieve recovery after injury, the adult mammalian CNS may require the assistance of the same postinjury factors as those involved in the recovery of spontaneously regenerating systems but that its accessibility to such assistance is restricted. Accordingly, we proposed that it might be possible to circumvent the restriction, allowing regeneration to occur. We showed that the implantation of autologous macrophages, which had been prestimulated by exposure to a regenerative (sciatic) nerve, into completely transected spinal cords of adult rats led to partial motor recovery. This treatment intervenes in the postinjury process by simulating in the axotomized CNS the events that occur naturally in spontaneously regenerating systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1046
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Axonal regeneration
  • Central nervous system
  • Immune privilege
  • Immunosuppression
  • Macrophages


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