Stem cell therapies hold considerable promise for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have been of particular clinical interest because of their ability to generate neuronal cells and to be used in animal models of neurodegenerative disease as well as for testing new drugs. Several PSCs isolated from humans and animals that carry the genotype of Huntington’s disease (HD) have been used in aforementioned studies. HD-PSCs obtained can produce in vitro neural progenitor cells (NPCs). These NPCs applied in HD models show several advantages: they engraft into the brain in animal models and differentiate into neuronal cells, thus promoting behavioral recovery and motor impairment. Although progress has been made using PSCs, additional tests should be done to overcome several limitations as, for example, tumorigenicity, before their clinical application. We focus this chapter on current knowledge regarding HD-PSC lines and their helpfulness as an in vitro model for basic research. Next, we discuss the advances of disease-free PSCs in preclinical HD models aiming to their potential application in patients. Additionally, we discuss their potential use as a test system for anti-HD drug screening by the pharmaceutical industry, especially considering HD patients’ welfare.
Part of the book: Huntington's Disease