Stem cell-derived dopamine neurons for brain repair in Parkinson's disease.

Regen Med. 2010 Mar; 5(2) : 267-78.
Stem cell-derived dopamine neurons for brain repair in Parkinson’s disease.
Fricker-Gates RA, Gates MA.
Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, UK.
One of the prospects for a curative treatment for Parkinson’s disease is to replace the lost dopaminergic neurons. Preclinical and clinical trials have demonstrated that dissected fetal dopaminergic neurons have the potential to markedly improve motor function in animal models and Parkinson’s disease patients. However, this source of cells will never be sufficient to use as a widespread therapy. Over the last 20 years, scientists have been searching for other reliable sources of midbrain dopamine neurons, and stem cells appear to be strong candidates. This article reviews the potential of different types of stem cells, from embryonic to adult to induced pluripotent stem cells, to see how well the cells can be differentiated into fully functional dopamine neurons, which cells might be the best candidates and how much more research is required before stem cell technology might be translated to a clinical therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
PMID: 20210586 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]