Cell transplantation in Parkinson’s disease.

Curr Opin Neurol. 2010 Aug; 23(4) : 426-32.
Cell transplantation in Parkinson’s disease: problems and perspectives.

Allan LE, Petit GH, Brundin P.
Department of Experimental Medical Science, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund, Sweden.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We review recent experiments conducted using embryonic tissue and stem cell transplants in experimental models of Parkinson’s disease. We also highlight the challenges which remain to be met in order for cell therapy to become clinically effective and safe.

RECENT FINDINGS: The outcome of previous clinical transplantation trials was variable in terms of motor recovery. We discuss whether transplants can mitigate L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA)-induced dyskinesias and consider the risk factors which predispose to graft-induced dyskinesias. In addition, we introduce Transeuro, a new European Unionfunded multicenter consortium which plans to perform transplantation trials.Stem cells have emerged as an alternative source for the generation of dopaminergic precursors. We briefly outline progress made in the use of human embryonic stem cells and focus predominantly on the emerging field of induced pluripotency. We conclude by introducing the exciting and novel method of direct reprogramming which involves the conversion of fibroblasts to neurons without inducing a pluripotent state.

SUMMARY: The area of cell transplantation has been revitalized by the identification of parameters which predispose patients to graft-induced dyskinesias and by the emergence of novel methods of generating dopaminergic neurons. Hopefully, the Transeuro clinical trials will give further impetus and act as a stepping stone to future trials employing stemcell- derived neurons.

PMID: 20489615 [PubMed – in process]