11 May 2023

Neural stem cell transplantation

Neural stem cell transplantation as an alternative therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.

The increasing life expectancy of the world population requires more effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, which are common in the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) [ref. 1]. Neural stem cells (NSCs) are essential for the development and maintenance of the function of the nervous system and have a broad therapeutic role in neurodegenerative diseases.

Neural stem cells

NSCs are cells that can self-renew and have the potential to differentiate into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes [ref. 2]. The properties of neural stem cells are summarized as follows: (i) Generation of neural tissue [ref. 3]. (ii) Self-renewal capacity. (iii) Multipotential differentiation. (iv) Low immunogenicity. The discovery of neural stem cells shattered the conventional notion that “neurons do not regenerate” [ref. 4].

Principles of neural stem cell transplantation

The damage and death of neurons and glial cells after CNS injury or degeneration leads to the corresponding clinical symptoms. It is difficult to perform effective neuronal and glial cell repair due to the limited number of neural stem cells and the impermissible microenvironment in the brain, so stem cell transplantation therapy has a promising future in this regard [ref. 5].

Neural stem cell differentiation

To obtain scalable and well-characterized subpopulations of NSCs from pluripotent stem cells, such as human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), different NSC differentiation protocols have been developed [ref. 6]. The commonly used protocol is based on the generation of embryoid bodies (EBs) that adhere and expand in serum-free medium containing growth factors, such as fibroblast growth factor (FGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), neurotrophic factors (NTF) ,etc. This not only stimulates the differentiation of NSCs into linear cell populations, but also reduces cell death in host endogenous neurons, promotes their axonal/dendritic connections, and enhances the survival and engraftment of transplanted NSCs [ref. 7].

Product nameDescription
Brain-derived neurotrophic
factor (BDNF) (HY-P7116A)
Neurotrophic factor
Vascular endothelial growth
factor (VEGF) (HY-P73471)
Angiogenic signaling protein
Glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic
factor (GDNF) (HY-P73075)
Neurotrophic factor
Nerve growth factor (NGF) (HY-P7660)Neurotrophic factor and
Neurotrophin-3 (NT3) (HY-P70456)Neurotrophic factor
Basic fibroblast growth factor
(BFGF) (HY-P7330)
Mitogenic factor
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) (HY-P7109)Mitogenic factor
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) (HY-P70698A)Protein hormone
Insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) (HY-P70950)Protein hormone
Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) (HY-P7146)Neurotrophic factor

MCE offers a comprehensive collection of TNF superfamily, TGF-beta superfamily, neurotrophic factors as well as other cytokines and growth factors for your research. MCE also has over 10,000 recombinant proteins and protein customization services.


  1. Heemels MT. Neurodegenerative diseases. Nature. 2016;539(7628):179.
  2. Malatesta P, Appolloni I, Calzolari F. Radial glia and neural stem cells. Cell Tissue Res. 2008;331(1):165-178.
  3. Miller RH, Bai L. The expanding influence of stem cells in neural repair. Ann Neurol. 2007;61(3):187-188.
  4. Hong-qi M, Ya-ping Q. Application of neural stem cells in nervous system diseases. Chinese Journal of Tissue Engineering Research. 2010;14(1):175.
  5. Li X, Liu T, Song K, et al. Culture of neural stem cells in calcium alginate beads. Biotechnol Prog. 2006;22(6):1683-1689.
  6. Chambers SM, Fasano CA, Papapetrou EP, Tomishima M, Sadelain M, Studer L. Highly efficient neural conversion of human ES and iPS cells by dual inhibition of SMAD signaling. Nat Biotechnol. 2009;27(3):275-280.
  7. De Gioia R, Biella F, Citterio G, et al. Neural stem cell transplantation for neurodegenerative diseases. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(9):3103.

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