A review and rationale for the use of cellular transplantation as a therapeutic strategy for traumatic brain injury

Joost W. Schouten, Carl T. Fulp, Nicolas C. Royo, Kathryn E. Saatman, Deborah J. Watson, Evan Y. Snyder, John Q. Trojanowski, Darwin J. Prockop, Andrew I.R. Maas, Tracy K. McIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Experimental research during the past decade has greatly increased our understanding of the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and allowed us to develop neuroprotective pharmacological therapies. Encouraging results of experimental pharmacological interventions, however, have not been translated into successful clinical trials, to date. Traumatic brain injury is now believed to be a progressive degenerative disease characterized by cell loss. The limited capacity for self-repair of the brain suggests that functional recovery following TBI is likely to require cellular transplantation of exogenous cells to replace those lost to trauma. Recent advances in central nervous system transplantation techniques involve technical and experimental refinements and the analysis of the feasibility and efficacy of transplantation of a range of stem cells, progenitor cells and postmitotic cells. Cellular transplantation has begun to be evaluated in several models of experimental TBI, with promising results. The following is a compendium of these new and exciting studies, including a critical discussion of the rationale and caveats associated with cellular transplantation techniques in experimental TBI research. Further refinements in future research are likely to improve results from transplantation-based treatments for TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1501-1538
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Cell death
  • Cell replacement
  • Head injury
  • Progenitor cells
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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