Neural stem cells and their use as therapeutic tool in neurological disorders

Stefano Pluchino, Lucia Zanotti, Michela Deleidi, Gianvito Martino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spontaneous neural tissue repair occurs in patients affected by inflammatory and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). However, this process is not robust enough to promote a functional and stable recovery of the CNS architecture. The development of cell-based therapies aimed at promoting brain repair, through damaged cell-replacement, is therefore foreseen. Several experimental cell-based strategies aimed at replacing damaged neural cells have been developed in the last 30 years. Although successful in promoting site-specific repair in focal CNS disorders, most of these therapeutic approaches have failed to foster repair in multifocal CNS diseases where the anatomical and functional damage is widespread. Stem cell-based therapies have been recently proposed and might represent in the near future a plausible alternative strategy in these disorders. However, before envisaging any human applications of stem cell-based therapies in neurological diseases, we need to consider some preliminary and still unsolved issues: (i) the ideal stem cell source for transplantation, (ii) the most appropriate route of stem cell administration, and, last but not least, (iii) the best approach to achieve an appropriate, functional, and long-lasting integration of transplanted stem cells into the host tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Axonal damage
  • Demyelination
  • Inflammation
  • Neural stem cell
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroprotection
  • Remyelination
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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