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Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation for Neurodegenerative Diseases

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Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by a progressive degeneration of selective neural populations. The lack of effective treatment and the characteristic of their pathology make these diseases appropriate candidates for cell therapy. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem-like cells that are capable of differentiating into mesenchymal and nonmesenchymal lineages. Their regenerative capacity after in vivo transplantation into animal models of neurodegenerative diseases has suggested that they could be useful against human diseases. Human bone marrow-derived MSCs (hMSCs) can be easily amplified in vitro and their transdifferentiation has been claimed in vitro and in vivo in neural cells. There are some doubts concerning the exact mechanisms responsible for the beneficial outcome observed after MSC transplantation into neurodegenerating tissues. Possible interpretations include cell replacement, trophic factor delivery, and immunomodulation. This review mainly concerns hMSCs transplantation in neurodegenerative diseases, because it has proven to be feasible, safe, and potentially effective. Although they have been used in hundreds of clinical trials, mixed results and no functional and long-lasting integration have so far been observed. hMSCs transplantations therefore still have their “dark side.” However, the challenge in well-planned clinical trials merits discussion.
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Keywords: Cell fusion; Mesenchymal stem cells; Regenerative medicine; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-10-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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