ABSTRACT: Dopaminergic cell transplantation is an experimental therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD). It has many potential theoretical advantages over current treatment strategies such as providing continuous local dopaminergic replenishment, eliminating motor fluctuations and medication-induced dyskinesias, slowing down disease progression or even reversing disease pathology in the host. Recent studies also show that dopaminergic cell transplants provide long-term neuromodulation in the basal ganglia that simulates the combined effects of oral dopaminergic therapy and surgical therapies like deep brain stimulation, the contemporary therapeutic approach to advanced PD. However, dopaminergic cell transplantation in PD as not been optimized and current experimental techniques have many drawbacks. In published experiments to date of attempted dopaminergic grafting in PD, the major challenges are unacceptable graft-induced dyskinesias or failure of such grafts to exceed the benefits afforded by sham surgery. A deleterious host immune response to the transplant has been implicated as a major putative cause for these adverse outcomes. This article focuses on recent advances in understanding the immunology of the transplantation in PD and possible methods to overcome adverse events such that we could translate cell replacement strategies into viable clinical treatments in the future.
Brain research bulletin 04/2012; 88(4):320-31. · 2.18 Impact Factor