Astrocytes are the major cell population in the central nervous system (CNS) and play pivotal role in CNS homeostasis and functionality. Malfunction of astrocytes were implicated in multiple neurodegenerative diseases and disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury (SCI), brain stroke, Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Alzheimer disease (AD). These new insights led to the rationale that transplantation of healthy and functional human astrocytes could support survival of neurons and be of therapeutic value in treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we will mainly focus on the role of astrocytes in ALS disease, the major cell sources for generation of human astrocytes, or astrocyte like cells and show how multiple preclinical studies demonstrate the efficacy of these cells in animal models. In addition, we will cover immerging early stage clinical trials that are currently being conducted using human astrocytes or human astrocyte like cell population.
Part of the book: Astrocyte
Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS) and play a pivotal role in CNS homeostasis and functionality. Malfunction of astrocytes was implicated in multiple neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and multiple sclerosis (MS). The involvement of astrocytes in the pathology of neurodegenerative disorders supports the rationale of transplantation of healthy human astrocytes that can potentially compensate for diseased endogenous astrocytes. In this review, we will focus on the roles of astrocytes in the healthy CNS and under MS conditions. We will describe the cell sources and current cell-based therapies for MS with a focus on the potential of astrocyte transplantation. In addition, we will cover immerging early-stage clinical trials in MS that are currently being conducted using cell-based therapies.
Part of the book: Glia in Health and Disease