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PARKINSON'S DISEASE AND STEM CELLS

WIKIPEDIA states: Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson disease or PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's motor skills, speech, and other functions.[1] Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. It is characterised by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement (bradykinesia) and, in extreme cases, a loss of physical movement (akinesia). The primary symptoms are the results of decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia, normally caused by the insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain. Secondary symptoms may include high level cognitive dysfunction and subtle language problems. PD is both chronic and progressive.

There appears to be real hope for the uses of stem cells for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. below are some developing medical approaches to treatment. The number of circulating adult stem cells may be a factor in preventing or reducing the effects of Parkinson's Disease.

Articles

Gene expression pattern of functional neuronal cells derived from human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells

Tatiana Tondreau email, Marielle Dejeneffe email, Nathalie Meuleman email, Basile Stamatopoulos email, Alain Delforge email, Philippe Martiat email, Dominique Bron email and Laurence Lagneaux email BMC Genomics 2008, 9:166doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-166 The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/9/166 © 2008 Tondreau et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background Neuronal tissue has limited potential to self-renew or repair after neurological diseases. Cellular therapies using stem cells are promising approaches for the treatment of neurological diseases. However, the clinical use of embryonic stem cells or foetal tissues is limited by ethical considerations and other scientific problems. Thus, bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSC) could represent an alternative source of stem cells for cell replacement therapies. Indeed, many studies have demonstrated that MSC can give rise to neuronal cells as well as many tissue-specific cell phenotypes.

Conclusion Our results demonstrate that BM-MSC have the potential to differentiate in neuronal cells with specific gene expression and functional properties. BM-MSC are thus promising candidates for cell-based therapy of neurodegenerative diseases

Olfactory Mucosa Is a Potential Source for Autologous Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson's Disease

Wayne Murrell, B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D., Andrew Wetzig, Michael Donnellan, Fran¨ois Fˇron, Tom Burne, Adrian Meedeniya, James Kesby, John Bianco, Chris Perry, Peter Silburn, Alan Mackay-Sim
STEM CELLS Volume 26 Issue 8, Pages 2183 - 2192 Published Online: 5 Jun 2008 Copyright © 2009 AlphaMed Press

Abstract Parkinson's disease is a complex disorder characterised by degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in the brain. Stem cell transplantation is aimed at replacing dopaminergic neurons because the most successful drug therapies affect these neurons and their synaptic targets. We show here that neural progenitors can be grown from the olfactory organ of humans, including those with Parkinson's disease. These neural progenitors proliferated and generated dopaminergic cells in vitro. They also generated dopaminergic cells when transplanted into the brain and reduced the behavioural asymmetry induced by ablation of the dopaminergic neurons in the rat model of Parkinson's disease. Our results indicate that Parkinson's patients could provide their own source of neuronal progenitors for cell transplantation therapies and for direct investigation of the biology and treatments of Parkinson's disease.

Transplantation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neural Progenitors Improves Behavioural Deficit in Parkinsonian Rats

Tamir Ben-Hur, Maria Idelson, Hanita Khaner, Martin Pera, Etti Reinhartz, Anna Itzik, Benjamin E. Reubinoff, M.D. STEM CELLS Volume 22 Issue 7, Pages 1246 - 1255 Published Online: 1 Dec 2004 Copyright © 2009 AlphaMed Press

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) may potentially serve as a renewable source of cells for transplantation. In Parkinson's disease, hESC-derived dopaminergic (DA) neurons may replace the degenerated neurons in the brain. Here, we generated highly enriched cultures of neural progenitors from hESCs and grafted the progenitors into the striatum of Parkinsonian rats. The grafts survived for at least 12 weeks, the transplanted cells stopped proliferating, and teratomas were not observed. The grafted cells differentiated in vivo into DA neurons, though at a low prevalence similar to that observed following spontaneous differentiation in vitro. Transplanted rats exhibited a significant partial correction of D-amphetamine and apomorphine-induced rotational behaviour, along with a significant improvement in stepping and placing non-pharmacological behavioural tests. While transplantation of uncommitted hESC-derived neural progenitors induced partial behavioural recovery, our data indicate that the host-lesioned striatum could not direct the transplanted neural progenitors to acquire a dopaminergic fate. Hence, induction of their differentiation toward a midbrain fate prior to transplantation is probably required for complete correction of behavioural deficit. Our observations encourage further developments for the potential use of hESCs in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

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