[en] After a central nervous system (CNS) injury, there is only an "abortive regeneration" of axons, while injured axons regenerate vividly in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). This difference is due, at least in part, to the existence in the periphery of Schwann cells and of growth promoting proteins they synthetize. One strategy to promote regrowth of central axons can be therefore, to modify (i.e. "peripheralize") the microenvironment by transplanting biologically active Schwann cells into the lesion site. In a rat model of traumatic paraplegia by inflation of a subdural microballoon, we performed syngeneic transplants of Schwann cells. These cells are cultured from adult dorsal root ganglia and can be kept in vitro for several months. They are transplanted in the injured spinal cord. The grafted Schwann cells are well integrated in the host tissue without detectable inflammatory reaction. Cystic cavitation and astrogliosis are reduced in grafted animals as compared to injured, non-grafted animals. The transplant is invaded by abundant, mainly unmyelinated axons which are immunoreactive for substance P, VIP or CGRP, i.e. transmitters known to be present in DRG afferents. Supraspinal afferents containing 5HT, TH or CCK accumulate at the rostral margin of the graft. Experimental procedures trying to stimulate the invasion of the graft by descending fibers, i.e. by inducing a chemoattraction are therefore of crucial importance for functional recovery.