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Mov Disord. 2014 Sep 15;29(11):1446-54. doi: 10.1002/mds.26026.

Stem cells for cell replacement therapy: a therapeutic strategy for HD?

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  • 1Cardiff Brain Repair Group, Schools of Medicine and Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Much interest has been expressed over the last couple of decades in the potential application of stem cells to medicine, both for research and diagnostic tools and as a source of donor cells for therapeutic purposes. Potential therapeutic applications include replacement of cells in many body organs where the capacity for intrinsic repair is limited, including the pancreas, heart, and brain. A key challenge is to generate the relevant donor cell types, and this is particularly challenging in the brain where the number of different neuronal subtypes is so great. Although dopamine neuron replacement in Parkinson's disease has been the focus of most clinical studies, great interest has been shown in this approach for other disorders, including Huntington's disease. Replacing complete neural circuits in the adult brain is clearly challenging, and there are many other complexities with regard to both donor cells and host. This article presents the pros and cons of taking a cell therapy approach in Huntington's disease. It considers the implantation both of cells that are already of the same neural subtype as those lost in the disease process (ie, primary fetal cells derived from the developing striatum) and those derived from stem cells, which require "directing" toward that phenotype.

© 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

KEYWORDS:

Huntington's; cell therapy; fetal cells; graft; neural transplant; stem cells

PMID:
25216372
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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