Toward full restoration of synaptic and terminal function of the dopaminergic system in Parkinson's disease by stem cells

Ann Neurol. 2003;53 Suppl 3:S135-46; discussion S146-8. doi: 10.1002/ana.10482.

Abstract

New therapeutic nonpharmacological methodology in Parkinson's disease (PD) involves cell and synaptic renewal or replacement to restore function of neuronal systems, including the dopaminergic (DA) system. Using fetal DA cell therapy in PD patients and laboratory models, it has been demonstrated that functional motor deficits associated with parkinsonism can be reduced. Similar results have been observed in animal models with stem cell-derived DA neurons. Evidence obtained from transplanted PD patients further shows that the underlying disease process does not destroy transplanted fetal DA cells, although degeneration of the host nigrostriatal system continues. The optimal DA cell regeneration system would reconstitute a normal neuronal network capable of restoring feedback-controlled release of DA in the nigrostriatal system. The success of cell therapy for PD is limited by access to preparation and development of highly specialized dopaminergic neurons found in the A9 and A10 region of the substantia nigra pars compacta as well as the technical and surgical steps associated with the transplantation procedure. Recent laboratory work has focused on using stem cells as a starting point for deriving the optimal DA cells to restore the nigrostriatal system. Ultimately, understanding the cell biological principles necessary for generating functional DA neurons can provide many new avenues for better treatment of patients with PD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology
  • Corpus Striatum / surgery
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Mesencephalon / metabolism
  • Mesencephalon / pathology
  • Mesencephalon / surgery
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / pathology*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism
  • Substantia Nigra / pathology
  • Substantia Nigra / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Dopamine