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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2015, Article ID 571475, 9 pages
Review Article

Potential of Neural Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

1Department of Neurology, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei City 11490, Taiwan
2Tung’s Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Wuchi, Taichung, Taiwan
3Department of Neurological Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei City 11490, Taiwan

Received 25 June 2015; Accepted 3 November 2015

Academic Editor: Peter Hagell

Copyright © 2015 Chung-Hsing Chou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is an emerging strategy for restoring neuronal function in neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), which is characterized by a profound and selective loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Adult neurogenesis generates newborn neurons that can be observed at specialized niches where endothelial cells (ECs) play a significant role in regulating the behavior of NSCs, including self-renewal and differentiating into all neural lineage cells. In this minireview, we highlight the importance of establishing an appropriate microenvironment at the target site of NSC transplantation, where grafted cells integrate into the surroundings in order to enhance DA neurotransmission. Using a novel model of NSC-EC coculture, it is possible to combine ECs with NSCs, to generate such a neurovascular microenvironment. With appropriate NSCs selected, the composition of the transplant can be investigated through paracrine and juxtacrine signaling within the neurovascular unit (NVU). With target site cellular and acellular compartments of the microenvironment recognized, guided DA differentiation of NSCs can be achieved. As differentiated DA neurons integrate into the existing nigrostriatal DA pathway, the symptoms of PD can potentially be alleviated by reversing characteristic neurodegeneration.