Encapsulated stem cells ameliorate depressive-like behavior via growth factor secretion

Brain Circ. 2018 Jul-Sep;4(3):128-132. doi: 10.4103/bc.bc_17_18. Epub 2018 Oct 9.


As prevalence of depression continues to rise around the world, there remains a stagnation of available treatments as the affected population grows. The subset of treatment-resistant depression also is on the rise highlighting the need for innovative treatments to address this issue. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been reported to attenuate depression-like behaviors, however, the effects of encapsulation of MSCs have yet to be investigated. Encapsulation of MSCs exhibited prolonged survival of exogenous cell injection accompanied with increased secretion of neurotrophic factors including vascular endothelial growth factor, ciliary neurotrophic factor, and others. The enhanced expression of these factors highlights the ability of encapsulated MSCs to upregulate the respective signaling pathways, which are associated with depression pathology and activation of neurogenesis. This treatment identifies a promising therapeutic option for depression, specifically treatment-resistant depression. Further, evaluation of long-term effects of the treatment is warranted. This paper is a review article. Referred literature in this paper has been listed in the references section. The datasets supporting the conclusions of this article are available online by searching various databases including PubMed. Some original themes in this article come from the laboratory practice in our research center and the authors' experiences.

Keywords: Animal model; depression; growth factors; mesenchymal; transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review