Putnam Valley, NY. (Apr. 23 2014) A team of researchers in Korea who transplanted human neural stem cells (hNSCs) into the brains of nonhuman primates and assessed cell survival and differentiation after 22 and 24 months found that the hNSCs had differentiated into neurons at 24 months and did not cause tumors.
The study will be published in a future issue of Cell Transplantation but is currently freely available on-line as an unedited early e-pub at: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct/pre-prints/content-ct1117Antonucci2.
The hNSCs were labeled with magnetic nanoparticles to enable them to be followed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They did not use immunosuppressants. According to the researchers, their study is the first to evaluate and show the long-term survival and differentiation of hNSCs without the need for immunosuppression.
The researchers concluded that hNSCs could be of "great value" as a source for cell replacement and gene transfer for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury and stroke.
"Stroke is the fourth major cause of death in the US behind heart failure, cancer, and lower respiratory disease," said study co-author Dr. Seung U. Kim of University of British Columbia Hospital's department of neurology in Canada. "While tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) treatment within three hours after a stroke has shown good outcomes, stem cell therapy has the potential to address the treatment needs of those stroke patients for whom tPA treatment was unavailable or did not help."
Dr. Kim and colleagues in Korea grafted magnetic particle-labeled hNSCs into the brains of laboratory primates and evaluated their performance to assess their survival and differentiation over 24 months. Of particular interest
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Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair