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Keywords:

  • transplantation;
  • myelin mutants;
  • oligodendrocyte;
  • Schwann cell;
  • cell lines;
  • migration;
  • division;
  • remyelination

Glial cell transplantation has proved to be a powerful tool in the study of glial cell biology. The extent of myelination achieved by transplanting myelin-producing cells into the CNS of myelin mutants, or into focal demyelinating lesions has raised hope that such a strategy may have therapeutic applications. Oligodendrocytes or Schwann cells could be used for repair. It is likely that the immature stages of the oligodendrocyte lineage have the best phenotypic characteristics for remyelination when transplanted, either as primary cells or as immortalized cells or cell lines. Prior culturing and growth factor treatment provides opportunities to expand cell populations before transplantation as dissociated cell preparations. Cell lines are attractive candidates for transplantation, but the risk of transformation must be monitored. The application of this technique to human myelin disorders may requier proof that migration, division and stable remyelination of axons by the tranplanted cells can occur in the presence of gliosis and inflammation.