|Interventional Strategies for Parkinson Disease: Can Neural Precursor Cells Forge a Path Ahead? [Eyestem Research, a C-CAMP startup]
|Year of Publication
|Nandakumar S, Shahani P, Datta I, Pal R
|ACS Chemical Neuroscience
|Type of Article
|cell transplantation, induced pluripotent stem cells, neural precursor cell, neural stem cell., Parkinson disease
Neural precursor cells (NPCs), derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), with their unique ability to generate multiple neuronal and glial cell types are extremely useful for understanding biological mechanisms in normal and diseased states. However, generation of specific neuronal subtypes (mature) from NPCs in large numbers adequate for cell therapy is challenging due to lack of a thorough understanding of the cues that govern their differentiation. Interestingly, neural stem cells (NSCs) themselves are in consideration for therapy given their potency to form different neural cell types, release of trophic factors, and immunomodulatory effects that confer neuroprotection. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak and its accompanying neurological indications, the immunomodulatory role of NSCs may gain additional significance in the prevention of disease progression in vulnerable populations. In this regard, small-molecule mediated NPC generation from PSCs via NSC formation has become an important strategy that ensures consistency and robustness of the process. The development of the mammalian brain occurs along the rostro-caudal axis, and the establishment of anterior identity is an early event. Wnt signaling, along with fibroblast growth factor and retinoic acid, acts as a caudalization signal. Further, the increasing amount of epigenetic data available from human fetal brain development has enhanced both our understanding of and ability to experimentally manipulate these developmental regulatory programs in vitro. However, the impact on homing and engraftment after transplantation and subsequently on therapeutic efficacy of NPCs based on their derivation strategy is not yet clear. Another formidable challenge in cell replacement therapy for neurodegenerative disorders is the mode of delivery. In this Perspective, we discuss these core ideas with insights from our preliminary studies exploring the role of PSC-derived NPCs in rat models of MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease following intranasal injections.