Delivery of neurotrophin-3 from fibrin enhances neuronal fiber sprouting after spinal cord injury

Sara J. Taylor, Ephron S. Rosenzweig, John W. McDonald, Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Neurotrophins have been shown to promote axonal growth and regeneration after spinal cord injury. The therapeutic utility of neurotrophins may be enhanced by using a controlled delivery system to increase the duration of neurotrophin availability following injury. Such a delivery system can be incorporated into a bioactive scaffold to serve as a physical bridge for regeneration. This study assessed the effect of controlled delivery of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) from fibrin scaffolds implanted in spinal cord lesions immediately following 2-mm ablation injury in adult rats. Nine days after injury, fibrin scaffolds containing the delivery system and NT-3 (1000 ng/mL) elicited more robust neuronal fiber growth into the lesion than did control scaffolds or saline (1.5- to 3-fold increase). Implantation of fibrin scaffolds resulted in a dramatic reduction of glial scar formation at the white matter border of the lesion. Hindlimb motor function of treated animals did not improve relative to controls at 12 weeks post-injury. Thus, controlled delivery of NT-3 from fibrin scaffolds enhanced the initial regenerative response by increasing neuronal fiber sprouting and cell migration into the lesion, while functional motor recovery was not observed in this model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 20 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Controlled release
  • Growth factor
  • Nerve regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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