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Review
, 68 (5), 501-10

Stem Cell Repair of Central Nervous System Injury

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Review

Stem Cell Repair of Central Nervous System Injury

Qilin Cao et al. J Neurosci Res.

Abstract

Neural stem cells (NSCs) have great potential as a therapeutic tool for the repair of a number of CNS disorders. NSCs can either be isolated from embryonic and adult brain tissue or be induced from both mouse and human ES cells. These cells proliferate in vitro through many passages without losing their multipotentiality. Following engraftment into the adult CNS, NSCs differentiate mainly into glia, except in neurogenic areas. After engraftment into the injured and diseased CNS, their differentiation is further retarded. In vitro manipulation of NSC fate prior to transplantation and/or modification of the host environment may be necessary to control the terminal lineage of the transplanted cells to obtain functionally significant numbers of neurons. NSCs and a few types of glial precursors have shown the capability to differentiate into oligodendrocytes and to remyeliate the demyelinated axons in the CNS, but the functional extent of remyelination achieved by these transplants is limited. Manipulation of endogenous neural precursors may be an alternative therapy or a complimentary therapy to stem cell transplantation for neurodegenerative disease and CNS injury. However, this at present is challenging and so far has been unsuccessful. Understanding mechanisms of NSC differentiation in the context of the injured CNS will be critical to achieving these therapeutic strategies.

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