Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are capable of self-renewing and differentiating into multiple tissues; they are expected to become a source of cells for regenerative therapy. Compared to allogeneic MSCs, autologous MSCs from patients needing cell-based therapy may be an ideal alternative stem cell source. However, characterizations of MSCs from a disease state remains extremely limited. Therefore, we have isolated and characterized MSCs from Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and compared them with MSCs derived from normal adult bone marrow. Our results show that PD-derived MSCs are similar to normal MSCs in phenotype, morphology, and multidifferentiation capacity. Moreover, PD-derived MSCs are capable of differentiating into neurons in a specific medium with up to 30% having the characteristics of dopamine cells. At last, PD-derived MSCs could inhibit T-lymphocyte proliferation induced by mitogens. These findings indicate that MSCs derived from PD patients' bone marrow may be a promising cell type for cellular therapy and somatic gene therapy applications.
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Vol. 44 • No. 5