Neurotransplantation: the time has come?

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Abstract

Problems in curing disorders of the brain are caused by several characteristic features of the nervous tissue, such as postmitotic nature of neurons, their limited reparative potential, significant energy dependence, etc. Because of special vulnerability and extremely high specialization, neurons are very sensitive to the action of any pathological factors, while existing possibilities of their trophic and metabolic support are scanty. Therefore, the creation of new reparative strategies, including substitutive cell technologies, is immediate task in neurology. Neurodegenerative disorders, Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease and others, are an “ideal” model for elaborating such strategies. As main motor symptoms of PD are related to degeneration of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway, treatment of these patients, theoretically, may be based on transplantation of dopamine-producing neurons into the striatum. In the paper, analyzed are the results of many-year experimental (on models of parkinsonism) and preliminary clinical trials of neurotransplantation with the use of fetal tissues (dopaminergic cells of the ventral midbrain) and dopaminergic neurons differentiated from embryonal stem cells and induced pluripotent. Newest scientific achievements in this field, improvement of cell protocols and successful resolving of a number of technical and medical problems allow saying that neurotransplantation becomes clinical reality just before our eyes.

About the authors

Sergey N. Illarioshkin

Research Center of Neurology, Moscow

Author for correspondence.
Email: platonova@neurology.ru
Russian Federation

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