Encapsulated cell biodelivery of GDNF: a novel clinical strategy for neuroprotection and neuroregeneration in Parkinson's disease?
ABSTRACT The main pathology underlying disease symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons. No effective disease-modifying treatment currently exists. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effects and it enhances dopaminergic function in animal models of PD. These findings raise the possibility that intrastriatal administration of GDNF might be developed into a new clinical strategy for functional preservation and restoration also in PD patients. Gene therapy is a novel tool to increase local levels of GDNF. Transplantation of encapsulated, GDNF-secreting cells is one strategy for ex vivo cell-based gene delivery which has the advantage to allow for removal of the cells if untoward effects occur. Here we summarize studies with such cells in animals, and discuss the results from previous trials with GDNF in PD patients and their implications for the further development of neuroprotective/neuroregenerative therapies. Finally, we describe the different scientific and regulatory issues that need to be addressed in order to reach the clinic and start the first trial in patients.
Article: Neurodegenerative Disorders[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and represents a growing health burden to western societies. Like many neurodegenerative disorders the cause is unknown, however, as the pathogenesis becomes ever more elucidated, it is becoming clear that effective delivery is a key issue for new therapeutics. The versatility of today's polymerization techniques allows the synthesis of a wide range of polymer materials which hold great potential to aid in the delivery of small molecules, proteins, genetic material or cells. In this review, we capture the recent advances in polymer based therapeutics of the central nervous system (CNS). We place the advances in historical context and, furthermore, provide future prospects in line with newly discovered advancements in the understanding of PD and other neurodegenerative disorders. This review provides researchers in the field of polymer chemistry and materials science an up-to-date understanding of the requirements placed upon materials designed for use in the CNS aiding the focus of polymer therapeutic design.
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ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease whose pathophysiology is poorly understood. Aiming to better understand the cause of motor neuron death, the use of experimental cell-based models increased significantly over the past years. In this scenario, much knowledge has been generated from the study of motor neurons derived from embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. These methods, however, have advantages and disadvantages, which must be balanced on experimental design. Preclinical studies provide valuable information, making it possible to combine diverse methods to build an expanded knowledge of ALS pathophysiology. In addition to using stem cells as experimental models for understanding disease mechanism, these cells had been quoted for therapy in ALS. Despite ethical issues involved in its use, cell therapy with neural stem cells stands out. A phase I clinical trial was recently completed and a phase II is on its way, attesting the method's safety. In another approach, mesenchymal stromal cells capable of releasing neuroregulatory and anti-inflammatory factors have also been listed as candidates for cell therapy for ALS, and have been admitted as safe in a phase I trial. Despite recent advances, application of stem cells as an actual therapy for ALS patients is still in debate. Here, we discuss how stem cells have been useful in modeling ALS and address critical topics concerning their therapeutic use, such as administration protocols, injection site, cell type to be administered, type of transplantation (autologous vs. allogeneic) among other issues with particular implications for ALS therapy. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of CytometryCytometry Part A 02/2015; 87(3). DOI:10.1002/cyto.a.22630 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has become an accepted treatment for motor symptoms in a subset of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. The mechanisms why DBS is effective are incompletely understood, but previous studies show that DBS targeted in brain structures other than the STN may modify the microvasculature. However, this has not been studied in PD subjects who have received STN-DBS. Here we investigated the extent and nature of microvascular changes in post-mortem STN samples from STN-DBS PD patients, compared to aged controls and PD patients who had not been treated with STN-DBS. We used immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent methods to assess serial STN-containing brain sections from PD and STN-DBS PD cases, compared to similar age controls using specific antibodies to detect capillaries, an adherens junction and tight junction-associated proteins as well as activated microglia. Cellular features in stained sections were quantified by confocal fluorescence microscopy and stereological methods in conjunction with in vitro imaging tools. We found significant upregulation of microvessel endothelial cell thickness, length and density but lowered activated microglia density and striking upregulation of all analysed adherens junction and tight junction-associated proteins in STN-DBS PD patients compared to non-DBS PD patients and controls. Moreover, in STN-DBS PD samples, expression of an angiogenic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), was significantly upregulated compared to the other groups. Our findings suggest that overexpressed VEGF and downregulation of inflammatory processes may be critical mechanisms underlying the DBS-induced microvascular changes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Neurobiology of Disease 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2014.12.006 · 5.62 Impact Factor