An update on intracerebral stem cell grafts

Elliot G. Neal, M. Grant Liska, Trenton Lippert, Roger Lin, Melissa Gonzalez, Eleonora Russo, Kaya Xu, Xunming Ji, Fernando L. Vale, Harry Van Loveren, Cesario V. Borlongan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Primary neurological disorders are notoriously debilitating and deadly, and over the past four decades stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising treatment. Translation of stem cell therapies from the bench to the clinic requires a better understanding of delivery protocols, safety profile, and efficacy in each disease. Areas covered: In this review, benefits and risks of intracerebral stem cell transplantation are presented for consideration. Milestone discoveries in stem cell applications are reviewed to examine the efficacy and safety of intracerebral stem cell transplant therapy for disorders of the central nervous system and inform design of translatable protocols for clinically feasible stem cell-based treatments. Expert commentary: Intracerebral administration, compared to peripheral delivery, is more invasive and carries the risk of open brain surgery. However, direct cell implantation bypasses the blood–brain barrier and reduces the first-pass effect, effectively increasing the therapeutic cell deposition at its intended site of action. These benefits must be weighed with the risk of graft-versus-host immune response. Rigorous clinical trials are underway to assess the safety and efficacy of intracerebral transplants, and if successful will lead to widely available stem cell therapies for neurologic diseases in the coming years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-572
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Huntington’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stem cells
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • multi-system atrophy
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neuroprotection
  • stroke
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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