Autologous olfactory glial cell transplantation is reliable and safe in naturally occurring canine spinal cord injury.
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Intraspinal transplantation of olfactory glial cells (OGC) has produced well-defined beneficial effects in experimental rodent models of spinal cord injury (SCI) and therefore has considerable promise as a treatment for severe SCI in human patients. In this study, we used clinical canine cases of severe SCI to determine whether derivation and transplantation of OGC from an autologous source was feasible. From the nerve fiber layer of a single olfactory bulb, we were able to generate 5 x 10(6) cells from each patient within 3 weeks. Of this population, 72% were p75(+) OGC, 20% were meningeal cells, and the remainder mainly astrocytes. Intraspinal transplantation was not associated with any observable long- or short-term complications.