Gene transfer mediated by stem cell grafts to treat CNS injury.
Hwang, DH; Jeong, SR; Kim, BG
Expert opinion on biological therapy, 11(12):1599-1610, 2011
Expert opinion on biological therapy
INTRODUCTION: Stem cell transplantation holds promise for promoting anatomical repair and functional recovery after traumatic or ischemic injuries to the CNS. Harnessing stem cells with therapeutic genes of interest is regarded as an attractive approach to augment therapeutic benefits of stem cell grafts. AREAS COVERED: The advantage of stem-cell-mediated gene transfer is the engraftibility of stem cells that can ensure a long-term and stable expression of therapeutic genes. In addition, stem-cell-gene interaction may synergistically amplify therapeutic benefits. Delivery of classical neurotrophic factor genes provided neuroprotective and pro-regenerative effects in various injury models. Some studies employed therapeutic genes targeting post-injury microenvironment to support endogenous repair. Recent trials of stem-cell-mediated transfer of nonclassical growth factors showed relatively novel biological effects. Combinatorial strategies seem to have the potential to improve therapeutic efficacy. EXPERT OPINION: Future development of induced pluripotent stem cells and novel scaffolding biomaterials will greatly expedite the advances in ex vivo gene therapy to treat CNS injury. Before moving to a clinical stage, rigorous preclinical evaluations are needed to identify an optimal gene or gene combination in different injury settings. Improving the safety of viral vectors will be a critical prerequisite for the clinical translation.
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