Special Issue "Neural Repair of the Central Nervous System: Stem Cells and Other Approaches"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 June 2023) | Viewed by 2833
Diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), including degenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, etc.), traumatic injury (spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, etc.), neural vascular diseases (stroke, microvascular ischemic disease, etc.), and brain tumor, are extremely difficult to treat. For over one hundred years, since Santiago Ramon and Cajal stated that ‘‘in the adult centers the nerve paths are something fixed, ended and immutable. Everything may die, nothing may be regenerated’’, the whole neuroscience field has consistently held the belief that CNS repair is incredibly challenging, almost impossible.
Unlike neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which maintain the ability to regenerate their axons, CNS neurons have attenuated intrinsic axonal regeneration power. Moreover, the neuronal external injury microenvironment in the CNS is also much more hostile than that in PNS, filled with inhibitory myelin debris, glial scars, inflammatory cells, and cytokines, all of which are inhibitory not only for axonal regeneration but also for regenerative adult neurogenesis. For many years, the CNS injury repair field has focused on how to enable long-distance axonal regeneration. However, in recent years, the idea of formation or usage of “relay-neural circuits” to resume neural circuitry function through neural plasticity, without long-distance axonal regeneration, has emerged as a more plausible mechanism and feasible repair strategy. Nonetheless, to engage the neural plasticity mechanism, modulation of the injury micro-environment is one of the absolute key factors. In addition, when neuronal loss is extensive, adult neurogenesis from endogenous and/or exogenous neural stem cells (NSCs) to replace lost neurons or to form nascent “relay-neural circuits” could also be indispensable.
In this Special Issue, we will center around CNS neural repair and discuss various potential therapeutic approaches and their underlying mechanisms (modulation of micro-environment, or enabling of adult neurogenesis), with a focus on, but not limited to, stem cell-based therapies, including small molecular drugs, large molecules, biomaterials, etc. The advantages and limitations, as well as the challenges and opportunities of those approaches will be thoroughly explored. We hope to shed new light on new approaches toward neural repair in a frame-shifting manner.
Prof. Dr. Yi E. Sun
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- spinal cord injury
- Alzheimer's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- neural repair
- neural plasticity
- CNS inflammation
- immune cells
- stem cell therapy
- neural stem cells
- mesenchymal stem cells
- adult neurogenesis
- relay circuits
- neural trophic