Making stem cell lines suitable for transplantation

Cell Transplant. 2007;16(2):101-15.


Human stem cells, progenitor cells, and cell lines have been derived from embryonic, fetal, and adult sources in the search for graft tissue suitable for the treatment of CNS disorders. An increasing number of experimental studies have shown that grafts from several sources survive, differentiate into distinct cell types, and exert positive functional effects in experimental animal models, but little attention has been given to developing cells under conditions of good manufacturing practice (GMP) that can be scaled up for mass treatment. The capacity for continued division of stem cells in culture offers the opportunity to expand their production to meet the widespread clinical demands posed by neurodegenerative diseases. However, maintaining stem cell division in culture long term, while ensuring differentiation after transplantation, requires genetic and/ or oncogenetic manipulations, which may affect the genetic stability and in vivo survival of cells. This review outlines the stages, selection criteria, problems, and ultimately the successes arising in the development of conditionally immortal clinical grade stem cell lines, which divide in vitro, differentiate in vivo, and exert positive functional effects. These processes are specifically exemplified by the murine MHP36 cell line, conditionally immortalized by a temperature-sensitive mutant of the SV40 large T antigen, and cell lines transfected with the c-myc protein fused with a mutated estrogen receptor (c-mycERTAM), regulated by a tamoxifen metabolite, but the issues raised are common to all routes for the development of effective clinical grade cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Wound Healing


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Receptors, Estrogen