Development of stem cell-based therapy for Parkinson's disease

Transl Neurodegener. 2015 Sep 3:4:16. doi: 10.1186/s40035-015-0039-8. eCollection 2015.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders of aging, characterized by the degeneration of dopamine neurons (DA neurons) in the substantial nigra, leading to the advent of both motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms. Current treatments include electrical stimulation of the affected brain areas and dopamine replacement therapy. Even though both categories are effective in treating PD patients, the disease progression cannot be stopped. The research advance into cell therapies provides exciting potential for the treatment of PD. Current cell sources include neural stem cells (NSCs) from fetal brain tissues, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and directly induced dopamine neurons (iDA neurons). Here, we evaluate the research progress in different cell sources with a focus on using iPSCs as a valuable source and propose key challenges for developing cells suitable for large-scale clinical applications in the treatment of PD.

Keywords: Dopamine neuron; Human embryonic stem cells; Induced dopamine neuron; Induced pluripotent stem cell; Neural stem cell; Parkinson’s disease.