Stem Cell Therapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Stem Cell Therapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Stem cell therapies have been proposed as a treatment option for neurodegenerative diseases, but the best stem cell source and therapeutic efficacy for neuroregeneration remain uncertain. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs), which can efficiently generate neural cells, could be good candidates but they pose ethical and practical issues. Not only difficult to find the good source of those cells but also they alway pose immunorejection problem since they may not be an autologous cells.

Stem cell therapies have been proposed as a treatment option for neurodegenerative diseases, but the best stem cell source and therapeutic efficacy for neuroregeneration remain uncertain. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs), which can efficiently generate neural cells, could be good candidates but they pose ethical and practical issues. Not only difficult to find the good source of those cells but also they alway pose immunorejection problem since they may not be an autologous cells. Even if we overcome the immunorejection problem, it has also been reported that transplantation of ESCs develop teratoma. Although adult stem cells are more accessible, they have a limited developmental potential. We developed technologies to increase potency of mesenchymal stem cells, which allow them to develop into neural cells, by over expression of the ESC gene, nanog. We also developed a small molecule compound, which significantly increases endogenous NSCs by peripheral administration, eliminating even the necessity of stem cell injection to the brain. These novel technologies may offer neuroregenerative therapies for Alzheimers disease (AD). However, we found that AD pathological condition prevent neurogenesis from NSCs. This chapter discusses how to overcome the problem associated stem cell therapy under AD pathology and introduces exosome as a tool to improve the modification of adult stem cells. These new technologies may open a door for the new era for AD therapy.

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