Targeting the vasculature to improve neural progenitor transplant survival
Gene Expression Regulation
©2015 Justin Hill, John Cave. Neural progenitor transplantation is a promising therapeutic option for several neurological diseases and injuries. In nearly all human clinical trials and animal models that have tested this strategy, the low survival rate of progenitors after engraftment remains a significant challenge to overcome. Developing methods to improve the survival rate will reduce the number of cells required for transplant and will likely enhance functional improvements produced by the procedure. Here we briefly review the close relationship between the blood vasculature and neural progenitors in both the embryo and adult nervous system. We also discuss previous studies that have explored the role of the vasculature and hypoxic pre-conditioning in neural transplants. From these studies, we suggest that hypoxic pre-conditioning of a progenitor pool containing both neural and endothelial cells will improve engrafted transplanted neuronal survival rates.
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