Challenges and translational considerations of mesenchymal stem/stromal cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Dominika Fričová, Jennifer A. Korchak, Abba C. Zubair

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the presence of Lewy bodies, which gives rise to motor and non-motor symptoms. Unfortunately, current therapeutic strategies for PD merely treat the symptoms of the disease, only temporarily improve the patients’ quality of life, and are not sufficient for completely alleviating the symptoms. Therefore, cell-based therapies have emerged as a novel promising therapeutic approach in PD treatment. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) have arisen as a leading contender for cell sources due to their regenerative and immunomodulatory capabilities, limited ethical concerns, and low risk of tumor formation. Although several studies have shown that MSCs have the potential to mitigate the neurodegenerative pathology of PD, variabilities in preclinical and clinical trials have resulted in inconsistent therapeutic outcomes. In this review, we strive to highlight the sources of variability in studies using MSCs in PD therapy, including MSC sources, the use of autologous or allogenic MSCs, dose, delivery methods, patient factors, and measures of clinical outcome. Available evidence indicates that while the use of MSCs in PD has largely been promising, conditions need to be standardized so that studies can be effectively compared with one another and experimental designs can be improved upon, such that this body of science can continue to move forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20
Journalnpj Regenerative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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