Spinal cord injury: Emerging beneficial role of reactive astrocytes' migration

Francois Renault-Mihara, Seiji Okada, Shinsuke Shibata, Masaya Nakamura, Yoshiaki Toyama, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Spinal cord injury (SCI), despite considerable progress in palliative care, has currently no satisfying therapeutic leading to functional recovery. Inability of central nervous system severed axons to regenerate after injury is considered to originate from both limited intrinsic capabilities of neurons and inhibitory effect of the local environment. Precisely, the so-called "glial scar" formed by reactive astrocytes in response to injury exerts a well-known axon-outgrowth inhibitory effect. However, recent studies revealed that role of reactive astrocytes after SCI is more complex. During the first weeks after injury, reactive astrocytes indeed protect the tissue and contribute to a spontaneous relative functional recovery. Compaction of the lesion center and seclusion of inflammatory cells by migrating reactive astrocytes seem to underlie this beneficial effect. Stimulation of reactive astrocytes migration in the sub-acute phase of SCI might thus represent a new approach to improve the functional outcome of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1653
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Migration
  • Reactive astrocyte
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Therapeutic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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