CNS sterile injury: just another wound healing?

Trends Mol Med. 2013 Mar;19(3):135-43. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2012.11.007. Epub 2012 Dec 30.


The poor recovery of the central nervous system (CNS) after injury, coupled with its complex and immunologically-privileged nature, led to the belief that CNS repair is different from the repair of other tissues. Here, we consider CNS repair from a novel perspective, suggesting that CNS responses to injury resemble wound healing. Extrapolating the classical wound healing model suggests that poor CNS recovery is an outcome of insufficient resolution of interim reparative events that precede tissue regeneration and renewal, a state reminiscent of chronic/unresolved wounds. This comparison requires reevaluation of the inflammatory response, glial scarring, and barrier permeability, traditionally considered obstacles to CNS repair. Understanding the similarity to wound healing suggests new research directions and therapeutic avenues for CNS injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Cicatrix / physiopathology*
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / pathology*
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Wound Healing