The ultimate goal of this study is to enhance the long-term viability and functionality of human embryonic stem (hES) cell-derived dopaminergic (DA) neurons for cell therapy in Parkinson's disease. To inhibit the substantial impact of transplantation-induced tissue inflammatory response on the viability and functionality of transplanted cells, a novel space creation concept has been developed in which a biodegradable implant in conjunction with strategies to manipulate the host tissue reactivity in the vicinity of the implant are utilized to create a scar-free space that is ready to host subsequently transplanted functional cells at the targeted site in adult brain tissue. The working hypothesis is that cells of scar-suppressive capability in combination with the space creation concept may further enhance the long-term survival and functionality of subsequently transplanted hES cell-derived dopaminergic neurons. The hypothesis will be tested through a series of transplantation studies in normal as well as diseased adult brain tissue with experimental PD.
Based on promising results, MJFF supported a supplement award to Dr. Wen to continue this work.