Neural stem cells derived from iPSCs show promise in Multiple Sclerosis

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A research study has yielded pre-clinical evidence to support the feasibility of treating Multiple Sclerosis (MS) using Neural Stem Cells (NSC) derived from induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC).

MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system; the underlying pathological mechanism remains largely unknown. The major hallmarks of the disease include axon loss and myelin damage with focal T lymphocytic infiltration.

In the study, published in Science China Life Sciences, the team led by Prof. Tongbiao Zhao used mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a widely used model to study MS. The researchers differentiated C57BL/6 mouse iPSCs into NSCs in vitro and transplanted these cells into EAE mice to evaluate their therapeutic effects. The results showed successful repair of damaged neural cells and myelin, alleviation of T cell infiltration, and improvement of motor ability upon iPSC-NSC administration in EAE mice.

Thus, the authors demonstrated that iPSC-NSCs can integrate into the recipient and alleviate the condition. However, further experiments using human or non-human primate iPSC-derived NSCs are needed to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy before this can be tested in clinical trials.

Source: Treatment of multiple sclerosis by transplantation of neural stem cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Zhang C et al., Science China Life Sciences 2016; DOI: 10.1007/s11427-016-0114-9