Researchers Demonstrate Nerve Cell Regeneration after Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine demonstrate that a combination of therapies and cell grafts caused significant regeneration of nerve cells in rats suffering from spinal cord injuries.

Using the sort of techniques opposed by animal rights groups, the researchers first used a surgical technique to induce spinal cord damage in the rats. They then transplanted tissue grafts into the damaged area. New nerve cells regenerated not only in the area of the tissue graft, but also extended into the spinal cord and healthy tissue surrounding the injury.

Lead researcher Mark Tuszynski said in press release announcing publication of the findings that,

Previous studies have demonstrated reduced lesion and scarring, tissue and functional recovery after acute spinal cord injury. This study shows unequivocally that axons can be stimulated to regenerate into a cell graft placed in a lesion site, and out again, into the spinal cord — the potential basis for putting together a practical therapy.


Nerve cells successfully regenerated following spinal cord injury. Press Release, University of California, San Diego, July 13, 2004.

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