• Stubley LA, Martinez MA, Karmally S, Lopez T, Cejas P and Eaton MJ (2001). Only early intervention with gamma-aminobutyric acid cell therapy is able to reverse neuropathic pain after partial nerve injury. J Neurotrauma. 18 (4): 471-7. Summary: Pharmacological treatment for neuropathic pain, although often effective for brief periods, can result in intractable persistent pain with certain patients. Cell therapy for neuropathic pain is a newly developing technology useful for an examination of enhanced normal sensory function after nerve injury with the placement of cells near the spinal cord, and grafts of immortalized cells bioengineered to chronically supply the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) have been used to reverse the chronic pain behaviors. However, it is not known whether there is a therapeutic window for the use of intervention with cell therapy after partial nerve injury. To investigate whether neuropathic pain is sensitive to the timing of placement of cell grafts, neuronal cells bioengineered to synthesize GABA were transplanted in the lumbar subarachnoid space one to four weeks after unilateral chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve and sensory behaviors were evaluated before and after CCI and transplants. Both thermal hyperalgesia and tactile allodynia were reversed when transplants were placed either one or two weeks after partial nerve injury, compared to maintenance of these behaviors with the injury alone. However, if GABA cells were placed any later than 2 weeks after nerve injury, such intervention was ineffective to reverse the thermal and tactile hypersensitivities induced by the injury. This suggests that altered spinal GABA levels may contribute to the early development of chronic neuropathic pain and that early intervention with cellular therapy to restore GABA may prevent the development of that pain. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Entrez/query?db=m&form=6&dopt=r&uid=11336447> The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33136, USA.