Loss-of-function manipulations to identify roles of diverse glia and stromal cells during CNS scar formation

Shalaka Wahane, Michael V. Sofroniew

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Scar formation is the replacement of parenchymal cells by stromal cells and fibrotic extracellular matrix. Until as recently as 25 years ago, little was known about the major functional contributions of different neural and non-neural cell types in the formation of scar tissue and tissue fibrosis in the CNS. Concepts about CNS scar formation are evolving rapidly with the availability of different types of loss-of-function technologies that allow mechanistic probing of cellular and molecular functions in models of CNS disorders in vivo. Such loss-of-function studies are beginning to reveal that scar formation and tissue fibrosis in the CNS involves complex interactions amongst multiple types of CNS glia and non-neural stromal cells. For example, attenuating functions of the CNS resident glial cells, astrocytes or microglia, can disrupt the formation of limitans borders that form around stromal cell scars, which leads to increased spread of inflammation, increased loss of neural tissue, and increased fibrosis. Insights are being gained into specific neuropathological mechanisms whereby specific dysfunctions of different types of CNS glia could cause or contribute to disorder-related tissue pathology and dysfunction. CNS glia, as well as fibrosis-producing stromal cells, are emerging as potential major contributors to diverse CNS disorders either through loss- or gain-of-functions, and are thereby emerging as important potential targets for interventions. In this article, we will review and discuss the effects on CNS scar formation and tissue repair of loss-of-function studies targeted at different specific cell types in various disorder models in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-350
Number of pages14
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • CNS scar formation
  • Diverse glia and stromal cells
  • Loss-of-function manipulations


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