Progress on stem cell grafts for Parkinson’s disease

Improvements have been made in the creation of stem cells for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, researchers have reported.

Current methods of generating neurons from stem cells for grafting into patients contain only a small proportion of effective neurons, the Danish researchers say.

So, Professor Mark Denham of Aarhus University in Denmark, and colleagues set out to improve the quality of the grafts.

In the lab, they were able to develop stem cells with only the correct lineages, “which enhances their potential” for differentiating into the appropriate neurons, they report in yesterday’s Nature Communications.

Using their new protocol, 69% of stem cells became the correct neurons, compared with 25% previously.

This was confirmed in tests on rodents, after which the animals’ function in a clinically relevant behavioural test was restored, they add.

“This strategy demonstrates how lineage restriction can prevent the development of undesirable lineages,” they write.

Professor Denham said: “Stem cells offer promising potential for treating Parkinson’s disease by transforming into specific nerve cells. However, the precision of this transformation poses a significant challenge with current methods, resulting in low purity.

“Using our genetically engineered cells we generate a higher purity of dopamine cells, for patients this will reduce the recovery time and diminish the risk of relapse and medication use.

“My goal is to help patients stay off their medication, which requires high purity. So, my next step is to transfer my method to clinical trials,” he concluded.

Maimaitili, M. et al. Enhanced production of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons from lineage-restricted human undifferentiated stem cells. Nature Communications 5 December 2023 doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-43471-0


, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Monthly Posts

Our Clients

Practice Index