Parkinson’s disease (PD)
Ensure the healthy future
Restoration of motor coordination
Elimination or reduction of tremors and rigidity
Emotional and mental state improvement
Growth of neurons and new brain cells
Cognitive function improvement
Stem Cell Applications in Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease (PD), characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders in elderly people. However, few effective therapies are available for neurodegenerative diseases, including PD. Stem cell therapies have been studied as potentially effective treatment options for neurodegenerative diseases through mechanisms of neuronal regeneration and substitution. Stem cells can migrate into injured regions and produce new neurons and glia, as well as neuroprotective molecules to improve neuron survival in the region. The survival and integration of these transplanted stem cells is an important issue for the success of stem cell therapy in neurodegenerative disease. Recent research in animals shows the promise of stem cell transplantation as a powerful treatment for Parkinson’s disease, among other neurodegenerative diseases, in the near future.
The Potential Role of Astrocytes in Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Astrocytes are multi-functional cells, now recognized as critical participants in many brain functions. They play a critical physiological role in the clearance of neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and in the regulation of K+ from the space of synaptic clefts. Astrocytes also express the excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channel, which are involved in both physiological functions and neurodegenerative diseases (ND). Some of the ND are the Alzheimer’s (AD), Huntington’s (HD), Parkinson’s diseases (PD), Cerebral edema, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and epilepsy pathological conditions in specific regions of the CNS. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by degeneration of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). These project to the striatum, forming an important pathway within the basal ganglia. Mostly, PD has no clear etiology, and the mechanism of dopaminergic (DA) neuron loss is not well illustrated. The results of various studies suggest that astrocytes are involved in the pathophysiology of PD. Evidence has shown that the down-regulation of EAAT-2/GLT-1 and AQP4 expression is associated with PD pathogenesis. However, controversial results were reported in different experimental studies about the expression and function of EAAT-2/GLT-1 and AQP4, as well as their colocalization in different brain regions, and their involvement in PD development. Therefore, under neurological disorders, Parkinson’s disease is related to the genetic and phenotypic change of astrocytes’ biology. In this review, the authors summarized recent their research findings, which revealed the involvement of EAAT-2/GLT-1 and AQP4 expression, the physical interaction between EAAT-2/GLT-1 and AQP4 in astrocyte function, and their potential role in the development of PD in SNpc and Subthalamic nucleus (STN) of the basal ganglia nuclei.