Immortalized neural progenitor cells for CNS gene transfer and repair

Trends Neurosci. 1997 Nov;20(11):530-8. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(97)01119-3.


Immortalized multipotent neural stem and progenitor cells have emerged as a highly convenient source of tissue for genetic manipulation and ex vivo gene transfer to the CNS. Recent studies show that these cells, which can be maintained and genetically transduced as cell lines in culture, can survive, integrate and differentiate into both neurons and glia after transplantation to the intact or damaged brain. Progenitors engineered to secrete trophic factors, or to produce neurotransmitter-related or metabolic enzymes can be made to repopulate diseased or injured brain areas, thus providing a new potential therapeutic tool for the blockade of neurodegenerative processes and reversal of behavioural deficits in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. With further technical improvements, the use of immortalized neural progenitors may bring us closer to the challenging goal of targeted and effective CNS repair.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transplantation / physiology
  • Central Nervous System / cytology*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Transplants