About this Research Topic
Peripheral nerve neuropathies represent a major health and social problem because they deeply affect patient's quality of life, causing severe disability, with social and personal costs. They include poly-neuropathies, such as metabolic and hereditary neuropathies, and mono-neuropathies, caused by peripheral nerve injuries, frequently caused by occupational and car accidents. Injured peripheral nerves are characterized by spontaneous regenerative capability , but often the functional recovery is incomplete, despite the microsurgery progresses, a better understanding of the peripheral nerve topography and of the molecular basis of nerve injury. Indeed, the regenerative outcome is deeply affected by several factors, including the type, severity and location of injury, the age of the patient, the time of surgical nerve repair (immediate or delayed), the presence of coexisting diseases.
This Research Topic will be focused on peripheral nerve regeneration and on the strategies to promote and improve it, paying attention not only to the injured nerve, but also to the target organs, and to the strategies to combat muscle atrophy due to prolonged denervation or to recover the lost sensitivity. The role of different cell populations in the peripheral nerve regeneration will be considered, including not only different Schwann cell phenotypes (“repair”, myelinating, non myelinating, etc…) and neurons (sensitive, motoneurons, … ), but also epineurial cells, macrophages, and so on. Different genes involved in nerve regeneration will be considered not only with regard to the expression level of messenger RNA and proteins, but also regarding the microRNAs regulating their expression. To promote neuronal survival, axonal regeneration and target reinnervation, different strategies are considered, including the use of innovative biomaterials and implantable scaffolds, gene therapy, optogenetics, tissue engineering, pharmacological approaches, cell-based therapies. Attention will be payed to new achievements for clinical application, new pre-clinical concepts , and to appropriate experimental methods for the assessment of functional recovery, and for accurate morphological and biomolecular analyses. Also, new experimental models to study the different neuropathies will be presented, with a particular attention to in vitro models to avoid or reduce the use of animals.
We invite authors to submit Original Research Articles or Reviews aligned to the research fields outlined above and qualified to advance the field a step forward in translating basic neuroscience knowledge into novel therapeutic strategies.
Keywords: regeneration, peripheral nerve repair, neuropathies, Schwann cells, target organ reinnervation, functional recovery
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