Oligodendrogliogenesis and axon remyelination after traumatic spinal cord injuries in animal studies: A systematic review
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Extensive oligodendrocyte death after acute traumatic spinal cord injuries (TSCI) leads to axon demyelination and subsequently may leave axons vulnerable to degeneration. Despite the present evidence showing spontaneous remyelination after TSCI the cellular origin of new myelin and the time course of the axon ensheatment/remyelination remained controversial issue. In this systematic review the trend of oligodendrocyte death after injury as well as the extent and the cellular origin of oligodendrogliogenesis were comprehensively evaluated. The study design was based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA)-guided systematic review. PubMed and EMBASE were searched with no temporal or linguistic restrictions. Also, hand-search was performed in the bibliographies of relevant articles. Non-interventional animal studies discussing different types of myelinating cells including oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) were evaluated. The extent of oligodendrocyte death, oligodendrocyte differentiation and remyelination were the pathophysiological outcome measures. We found 12,359 studies, 34 of which met the inclusion criteria. The cumulative evidence shows extensive oligodendrocytes cell death during the first week post-injury (pi). OPCs and peripheral invading Schwann cells are the dominant cells contributing in myelin formation. The maximum OPCs proliferation was observed at around 2 weeks pi and oligodendrogliogenesis continues at later stages until the number of oligodendrocytes return to normal tissue by one month pi. Taken together, the evidence in animals reveals the potential role for endogenous myelinating cells in the axon ensheathment/remyelination after TSCI and this can be the target of pharmacotherapy to induce oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin formation post-injury.