Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 18 (2), 174-88

Stem and Progenitor Cell-Based Therapy of the Central Nervous System: Hopes, Hype, and Wishful Thinking


Stem and Progenitor Cell-Based Therapy of the Central Nervous System: Hopes, Hype, and Wishful Thinking

Steven A Goldman. Cell Stem Cell.


A variety of neurological disorders are attractive targets for stem and progenitor cell-based therapy. Yet many conditions are not, whether by virtue of an inhospitable disease environment, poorly understood pathophysiology, or poor alignment of donor cell capabilities with patient needs. Moreover, some disorders may be medically feasible targets but are not practicable, in light of already available treatments, poor risk-benefit and cost-benefit profiles, or resource limitations. This Perspective seeks to define those neurological conditions most appropriate for cell replacement therapy by considering its potential efficacy and clinical feasibility in those disorders, as well as potential impediments to its application.

Keywords: astrocyte; cell therapy; glial progenitor cell; myelin disease; neural stem cell; neurodegenerative disease; neurological therapeutics; oligodendrocyte progenitor cell.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Neural and glial cell therapeutics and their disease targets
This schematic illustrates the principal sources of transplantable human neural stem cells and phenotypically-restricted neuronal and glial progenitor cells, and highlights the most feasible current opportunities for their use in treating disorders of the brain.

Similar articles

  • Stem and Progenitor Cell-Based Therapy of the Human Central Nervous System
    S Goldman. Nat Biotechnol 23 (7), 862-71. PMID 16003375.
    Multipotent neural stem cells, capable of giving rise to both neurons and glia, line the cerebral ventricles of all adult animals, including humans. In addition, distinct …
  • Cell Replacement Therapy in Neurological Disease
    SA Goldman et al. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 361 (1473), 1463-75. PMID 16939969. - Review
    Diseases of the brain and spinal cord represent especially daunting challenges for cell-based strategies of repair, given the multiplicity of cell types within the adult …
  • Stem Cells and Neurological Diseases
    DC Hess et al. Cell Prolif 41 Suppl 1, 94-114. PMID 18181951. - Review
    Cells of the central nervous system were once thought to be incapable of regeneration. This dogma has been challenged in the last decade with studies showing new, migrati …
  • Human Stem Cells for CNS Repair
    R Zietlow et al. Cell Tissue Res 331 (1), 301-22. PMID 17901985. - Review
    Although most peripheral tissues have at least a limited ability for self-repair, the central nervous system (CNS) has long been known to be relatively resistant to regen …
  • Axonal Degeneration as a Therapeutic Target in the CNS
    P Lingor et al. Cell Tissue Res 349 (1), 289-311. PMID 22392734. - Review
    Degeneration of the axon is an important step in the pathomechanism of traumatic, inflammatory and degenerative neurological diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that a …
See all similar articles

Cited by 45 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types