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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 May;7(5):395-406.

The therapeutic potential of neural stem cells.

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Neuroimmunology Unit, DIBIT, and Department of Neurology and Neurophysiology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, via Olgettina 58, 20132, Milano, Italy.


Recent evidence shows that transplantation of neural stem/precursor cells may protect the central nervous system from inflammatory damage through a 'bystander' mechanism that is alternative to cell replacement. This novel mechanism, which might improve the success of transplantation procedures, is exerted by undifferentiated neural stem cells, the functional characteristics of which are regulated by important stem cell regulators released by CNS-resident and blood-borne inflammatory cells. Here, we discuss this alternative bystander mechanism in the context of the atypical ectopic perivascular niche. We propose that it is the most challenging example of reciprocal therapeutic crosstalk between the inflamed CNS and systemically transplanted neural stem cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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