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Areas of primary demyelination which did not subsequently remyelinate spontaneously were prepared in the cat spinal cord by injecting small volumes of ethidium bromide into tissue which had previously been exposed to 40 Grays of X-irradiation. Autologous peripheral nerve tissue was placed in the sub-arachnoid space over such lesions, either at the time of injecting ethidium bromide, or at 14 days or 28 days after injecting ethidium bromide. The extent of Schwann cell remyelination was assessed 28 days after transplantation. In no case were all the demyelinated axons remyelinated; rather, remyelination was limited to axons near to blood vessels. It was concluded that Schwann cells migrated from the transplanted tissue into the lesion via the perivascular space and that they failed to remyelinate the bulk of demyelinated axons because of an absence within the CNS of suitable extracellular matrix.
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Accepted: January 31, 1984
Received in revised form: January 30, 1984
Received: December 6, 1983
☆This work was supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
© 1984 Published by Elsevier Inc.