Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gaetano Romano
Parkinson's disease (PD) represents a challenging condition where different therapeutic options have evolved over the course of the last 50 years. The potential for therapeutic use of cell transplantation for cell replacement or for gene delivery of neurotrophic factors has received a great deal of attention. Currently, all available treatment options are directed towards the amelioration of symptoms. A greater understanding of the distinctive pathology underlying PD might offer some novel therapeutic approaches. Transplantation of embryonic ventral mesencephalon (VM) dopaminergic neurons has shown promise in animal studies, but similar transplant procedures have shown limited success in clinical trials. One important issue may be the site of transplantation. Previous studies have transplanted VM into the striatum, which is the target of these neurons. With increased understanding of growth and guidance molecule effecting dopaminergic neurons, it may be feasible to place transplants in the damaged substantia nigra and direct the growth of axons into target regions to reconstruction of midbrain dopamine (DA) circuitry. Our established and on-going understanding of the molecular cues which support directed growth of DA neurons form an important basis for the refinement and optimization of VM grafting procedures, and also the development of new procedures based on the use of stem cells. In this review, we discuss transplantation therapy and how selective guidance molecules could be used to reconstruction of nigrostriatal circuit.