One study using Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) isolated from human umbilical cord tissue (hUC-MSCs) suggests that there is a potential to use hUC-MSCs as a therapy for Parkinson’s disease.20 Researchers isolated and then induced the hUC-MSCs to differentiate into dopamine secreting cells. The dopamine producing cells were then transplanted into a specific area of the brain in rats with Parkinson’s disease. The animals that received the transplanted cells exhibited no progression of the disease as compared to the animals that did not receive the dopamine-producing cells. After four months the transplanted cells remained viable. These results suggest that human umbilical Mesenchymal Stem Cells have the potential to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Ideal donor cells for Parkinson’s disease therapy are easily available, capable of rapid expansion in culture, immunologically compatible, and capable of long-term survival and integration in the host brain — all of which hUC-MSCs achieve, demonstrating further the potential for use in treatment.