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Emerging Restorative Treatments for Parkinson's Disease: Manipulation and Inducement of Dopaminergic Neurons from Adult Stem Cells

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease, characterized by a selective loss of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. To address this problem, various types of stem cells that have potential to differentiate into DA neurons are being investigated as cellular therapies for PD, including cells derived from embryonic or adult donor tissue, and embryonic stem cells. These cell sources, however. have raised certain questions with regard to ethical and rejection issues. Recent progress in adult stems has further proved that the cells derived from adult tissue could be expanded and differentiated into DA precursor cells in vitro, and cell therapy with adult stem cells could produce a clear improvement for PD models. Using adult stem cells for clinic application may not only overcome the ethical problem inherent in using human fetal tissue or embryonic stem cells, but also open the possibility for autologous transplantation. The patient-specific adult stem cell is therefore a potential and prospective candidate for PD treatment.

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Keywords: FOXA2; Parkinson's disease; adult stem cells; carotid body stem cells; cell transplantation therapy; dopaminergic neurons; embryonic stem cells; fetal stem cells; induced pluripotent stem cells; mesenchymal stem cells; neural stem cells

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2011

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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