Stem cells in the treatment of Parkinson's disease

Brain Res Bull. 2002 Apr;57(6):795-808. doi: 10.1016/s0361-9230(01)00772-9.


Stem cells have been suggested as candidate therapeutic tools for neurodegenerative disorders, given their ability to give rise to the appropriate cell types after grafting in vivo. In this review I summarize some of the evidence currently available concerning two approaches for the treatment of Parkinson's disease: (1) The generation of dopaminergic neurons from embryonic stem cells, multipotent stem cells, and neuronal progenitor cells for cell replacement therapy. (2) The engineering of multipotent stem cells to release glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, a potent neurotrophic factor for dopaminergic neurons, in a neuroprotective and neuroregenerative approach to the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Tissue Transplantation / methods*
  • Brain Tissue Transplantation / trends*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Culture Techniques / trends
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Dopamine / biosynthesis
  • Dopamine / genetics
  • Embryonic Induction / drug effects
  • Embryonic Induction / physiology
  • Humans
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Substantia Nigra / cytology
  • Substantia Nigra / embryology
  • Substantia Nigra / surgery*


  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Dopamine