Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that currently affects nearly 6 million people worldwide and is currently the second most common neurological condition, behind only Alzheimer’s.

Although the exact cause of PD remains unclear, the condition is characterized by the gradual loss of nerve cells in the brain responsible for producing the neurotransmitter dopamine[1].    While no cure for PD currently exists, current therapeutic treatment approaches focus on improving quality of life but are not able to prevent or slow the progression of the disease.

Recent research has demonstrated positive effects of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation that has been associated with secromes; noted beneficial effects include providing a self-regulated regenerative response that limits the area of lesions. Additionally, these MSC-derived secretomes compose soluble factors and encapsulated extravesicles (EV).  These EVs have been found to have a significant impact on physiological processes, including cell-to-cell communication.

Considering MSCs are readily available and easily isolated from a number of sources, including adipose tissue, umbilical cord Wharton’s Jelly, bone marrow, and dental pulp, these stem cells are thought to hold potential as a therapeutic approach to managing PD.

As part of this review, d’Angelo et al. highlight a number of studies demonstrating the potential of MSCs in improving a number of conditions and symptoms consistent with those demonstrated in PD. In these studies, animal models demonstrate improved motor behaviors and correction of functional impairment after transplantation of MSCs. 

The authors point out that further research exploring cell-free, therapeutic, personalized approaches for the different neurodegenerative diseases, including PD, is needed. 

d’Angelo et al. also note that, while MSC-derived secretomes have shown positive effects on neuronal cell survival, differentiation, and proliferation, further studies are needed to fully understand all of the bioactive molecules. 

Since MSC-derived secretomes are able to stimulate neurotrophic and neuronal survival pathways and appear to counteract neuronal death, they could potentially be a beneficial tool in future management and prevention efforts for a number of neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.

Source:(2020, July 23). Insights into the Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived … – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432166/


[1] “Parkinsonfoundation.org -.” https://parkinsonfoundation.org/. Accessed 5 Oct. 2021.

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