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Neurology Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 891605, 24 pages
Research Article

Subarachnoid Transplant of the Human Neuronal hNT2.19 Serotonergic Cell Line Attenuates Behavioral Hypersensitivity without Affecting Motor Dysfunction after Severe Contusive Spinal Cord Injury

1Miami VA Health System Center, D806C, 1201 NW 16th Street, Miami, FL 33125, USA
2The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, 1095 NW 14th Terrace, Miami, FL 33136, USA
3Department of Neurosurgery, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road, Honolulu, HI 96859-5000, USA

Received 23 January 2011; Accepted 21 March 2011

Academic Editor: Dirk Deleu

Copyright © 2011 Mary J. Eaton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transplant of cells which make biologic agents that can modulate the sensory and motor responses after spinal cord injury (SCI) would be useful to treat pain and paralysis. To address this need for clinically useful human cells, a unique neuronal cell line that synthesizes and secretes/releases the neurotransmitter serotonin (5HT) was isolated. Hind paw tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia induced by severe contusive SCI were potently reversed after lumbar subarachnoid transplant of differentiated cells, but had no effect on open field motor scores, stride length, foot rotation, base of support, or gridwalk footfall errors associated with the SCI. The sensory effects appeared 1 week after transplant and did not diminish during the 8-week course of the experiment when grafts were placed 2 weeks after SCI. Many grafted cells were still present and synthesizing 5HT at the end of the study. These data suggest that the human neuronal serotonergic hNT2.19 cells can be used as a biologic minipump for receiving SCI-related neuropathic pain, but likely requires intraspinal grafts for motor recovery.