Neural stem cell (NSC)-based therapies, such as cell transplantation, are an emerging strategy for restoring neuronal function in Parkinson’s disease (PD), which is characterized by a profound and selective loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Advanced researches on the microenvironment of grafted cells will promote clinical applications of NSCs for neurological disorders. A novel cell culture model of the neurovascular network was therefore devised to investigate autocrine, paracrine, and juxtacrine signaling in the neurovascular unit generated by NSCs and vascular endothelial cells. Preclinical studies using cutting-edge technologies, including cellular reprogramming, advancement in scaffolds for brain tissue engineering, image-guided injection, and noninvasive monitoring of tissue regeneration will pave the way for successful clinical trials of NSC-based therapies for PD. Once the implanted or regenerated DA neurons are integrated into the existing nigrostriatal DA pathway, the symptoms of PD can potentially be alleviated by reversing characteristic neurodegeneration.
Part of the book: Parkinson's Disease