Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells towards Neuronal Lineage: Clinical Trials in Nervous System Disorders
Rosa Hernández1,2,3,†, Cristina Jiménez-Luna1,2,4,†, Jesús Perales-Adán1, Gloria Perazzoli1,3, Consolación Melguizo1,2,3,* and José Prados1,2,3
1Institute of Biopathology and Regenerative Medicine (IBIMER), Center of Biomedical Research (CIBM), University of Granada, Granada 18100,
2Department of Anatomy and Embryology, University of Granada, Granada 18016,
3Biosanitary Institute of Granada (ibs.GRANADA), Granada 18012, Spain,
4Department of Oncology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Lausanne, Epalinges 1066, Switzerland
E-mail: melguizo@ugr.es
Tel: +34-958249322, Fax: +34-958246296

The first two authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: April 17, 2019; Revised: August 12, 2019; Accepted: August 12, 2019; Published online: October 25, 2019.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been proposed as an alternative therapy to be applied into several pathologies of the nervous system. These cells can be obtained from adipose tissue, umbilical cord blood and bone marrow, among other tissues, and have remarkable therapeutic properties. MSCs can be isolated with high yield, which adds to their ability to differentiate into non-mesodermal cell types (including neuronal lineage) both in vivo and in vitro. They are able to restore damaged neural tissue, thus being suitable for the treatment of neural injuries, and possess immunosuppressive activity, which may be useful for the treatment of neurological disorders of inflammatory etiology. Although the long-term safety of MSC-based therapies remains unclear, a large amount of both pre-clinical and clinical trials have shown functional improvements in animal models of nervous system diseases following transplantation of MSCs. In fact, there are several ongoing clinical trials evaluating the possible benefits this cell-based therapy could provide to patients with neurological damage, as well as their clinical limitations. In this review we focus on the potential of MSCs as a therapeutic tool to treat neurological disorders, summarizing the state of the art of this topic and the most recent clinical studies.
Keywords: Mesenchymal stem cells, Nervous system disorders, Cell-based therapy, Neuronal differentiation, Clinical trials

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