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Plasticity of the Central Nervous System and Formation of “Auxiliary Niches” After Stem Cell Grafting: An Essay

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It is hoped that stem cell biology will play a major role in the treatment of a number of so far incurable diseases via transplantation therapy. Today, we know that neural stem cell grafts not only represent a valuable source of missing cells and molecules for the host nervous system, but they also bring with them biological principles and processes assuring tissue plasticity and homeostasis found in early development and in postnatal neurogenic areas. In this review, we discuss the potential of grafted neural stem/progenitor cells to induce plasticity in the adult diseased brain by mimicking the cellular and molecular processes governing the biology of endogenous stem cell niches. If confirmed, such anlagen of “auxiliary niches” could help us to optimize intercellular communication in donor cell-initiated networks of graft–host interactions and to “rejuvenate” the adult nervous system in its response to disease and injury.

Keywords: Development; Homeostasis; Neurodegeneration; Neurogenesis; Neuroprotection; Neurotransplantation; Progenitor; Rescue

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Department of Biomedical Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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