• myelination;
  • peripheral nervous system;
  • rat;
  • regeneration;
  • stem cell


Introduction: Skin-derived precursor cells (SKPs) are neural crest progenitor cells that can attain a Schwann cell–like phenotype through in vitro techniques (SKP-SCs). We hypothesized that SKP-SCs could produce mature myelin and, in doing so, facilitate the recovery of a focal demyelination injury. Methods: We unilaterally injected DiI-labeled, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-producing SKP-SCs into the tibial nerves of 10 adult Lewis rats (with contralateral media control), 9 days after bilateral doxorubicin injury (0.38 μg). Tibial compound motor action potentials (CMAPs) were followed for 57 days. A separate morphometric cohort also included a Schwann cell injection group. Results: SKP-injected nerves recovered fastest in terms of electrophysiology and morphometry. SKP-SCs formed morphologically mature myelin, accounting for 15.3 ± 5.3% of the total myelin in SKP-SC–injected nerves. Conclusions: SKP-SCs are robustly capable of myelination. They improve the recovery of a focal tibial nerve demyelination model by myelinating a measured percentage of axons. Muscle Nerve 50:262–272, 2014