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Open Access Cell Transplantation as a Pain Therapy Targets Both Analgesia and Neural Repair

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Cell transplantation is a potentially powerful approach for the alleviation of chronic pain. The strategy of cell transplantation for the treatment of pain is focused on cell-based analgesia and neural repair. (1) Adrenal medullary chromaffin cells and the PC12 cell line have been used to treat cancer pain and neuropathic pain in both animal models and human cases. As biological or living minipumps, these cells produce and secrete pain-reducing neuroactive substances if administered directly into the spinal subarachnoid space. (2) Cell implantation for pain neurorestorative therapy is a new concept and an emerging research field for pain control along with neural repair. Possible neurorestorative mechanisms include neuroprotective, neurotrophic, neuroreparative, neuroregenerative, neuromodulation, or neuroconstructive interventions, as well as immunomodulation and enhancing the microcirculation. These factors may ultimately restore the damaged or irritated condition of the lesioned nerves. The growing preclinical and clinical data show that neural stem/progenitor cells, olfactory ensheathing cells, mesenchymal stromal cells, and CD34+ cells have the capacity to manage intractable pain and improve neurological functions. Cell delivery routes include local, intrathecal, or intravascular implants. Although these strategies are still in their infancy phase for pain neurorestoratology, cell-based therapies could open up new avenues for the relief of pain. In this review, these aspects are critically analyzed based on our own investigations. This manuscript is published as part of the International Association of Neurorestoratology (IANR) supplement issue of Cell Transplantation.
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Keywords: Analgesia; Cell transplantation; Neural repair; Neurorestorative therapy; Pain; Pain neurorestoratology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 17 December 2013

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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