Although macrophages are known as essential players in wound healing, their contribution to recovery from spinal cord injury is a subject of debate.
Using a mouse model of spinal injury, Michal Schwartz and colleagues from the Weizmann institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel tested the effect of macrophages on the recovery process after injury and demonstrate an important anti-inflammatory role for a subset of infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages that is dependent upon their expression of the anti-inflammatory molecule interleukin-10.
These results suggest that this subset of macrophages may have a beneficial effect on spinal cord injuries.
More information: Shechter R, London A, Varol C, Raposo C, Cusimano M, et al. (2009) Infiltrating Blood-Derived Macrophages Are Vital Cells Playing an Anti-inflammatory Role in Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury in Mice. PLoS Med 6(7): e1000113. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000113, http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=1000113
Source: Public Library of Science (news : web)
Explore further: Mice study shows efficacy of new gene therapy approach for toxin exposures