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Schwann Cells as a Therapeutic Target for Peripheral Neuropathies

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Schwann cells, the myelin forming cells in the peripheral nervous system, play a key role in the pathology of various inflammatory, metabolic and hereditary polyneuropathies. Advances in identifying growth factors and signaling molecules that are expressed by Schwann cells have paved the way for development of new treatment strategies that are aimed to improve the protective and regenerative properties of Schwann cells in peripheral nerve disorders. These include the exogenous application of growth factors and neurohormones which have been advanced into clinical trials in humans, and transplantation paradigms that have been moved into late stage preclinical models. In this review we will discuss the latest developments in these therapeutic approaches with special regard to peripheral nerve disorders, in which progress in basic research has already been translated into clinical trials, including HIV-associated distal sensory polyneuropathy and diabetic neuropathy.

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Keywords: Ascorbic Acid; CMT1A; Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease; Eyrthropoetin; Gracely Pain Scale; HIV-Associated Distal Sensory Polyneuropathy; HIV-SN; HNPP; NRTIs; Neurotrophins; Progesterone; Schwann cells; antiretroviral toxic neuropathy; diabetic neuropathy; microangiopathy; myelination; nerve injury; peripheral nerve; pmp22; polyneuropathy; polyol pathway; regeneration; rhEPO; temporal hyperalgesia

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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