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Immunotherapy. 2011 Apr;3(4 Suppl):39-41. doi: 10.2217/imt.11.49.

Immunoregulatory properties of neural stem cells.

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  • 1INSERM U643, CHU de Nantes, ITUN, Université de Nantes, Faculté de Médecine, Nantes, France.


Transplantation of neural cells provides an interesting form of therapy for certain CNS disorders. Although the brain has a special immune status, xenografts of fetal porcine neuroblasts are ultimately rejected after a lag of several weeks. Various strategies have been proposed to prevent this process. These include the design of transgenic pigs whose neurons have an increased immunosuppressive potential. An interesting alternative is provided by the use of neural stem/progenitor cells, which are multipotent cells found in the fetal or adult CNS. These cells are known to be poorly immunogenic. However, pig or rat neural stem/progenitor cells are highly immunosuppressive, as shown by their ability to block the proliferation of activated T lymphocytes. This effect is mediated by cell secreted factor(s), whose nature is discussed.

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