Table 1

Essential properties of stem cells for use in clinical transplantation

DiseasePrinciple function required of stem cells
Cell replacement
Parkinson’s diseaseNigrostriatal dopamine neurons
Huntington’s diseaseGABAergic striatal projection neurons
Alzheimer’s (and other dementias)Diffuse neuronal replacement, including basal forebrain cholinergic
Multiple system atrophy (MSA)Nigrostriatal and striatal output neurones
Hippocampal damage (eg global ischaemia)Hippocampal neurones especially those of CA1
Focal ischaemic damageBroad phenotypes required; dependent on site
Traumatic brain injuryBroad phenotypes required; dependent on site
Spinal injuryProjection neurones (glutamate); remyelination
Amyotrophic-lateral sclerosisReplacement of alpha motorneurons
Multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating conditionsRemyelination through oligodendrocytes
Drug delivery
EpilepsyLocal GABA
Chronic painAnalgesic compounds such as met-enkephalin and endorphins
Genetic defects, egMetabolic enzymes
    Mucopolysaccaroidosis VII    β-glucuronidase
    Tay-Sachs disease    β-hexosaminidase A
Intracerebral malignancyAnti-mitotic drug; modified viruses
“growth factor responsive conditions”Support of diverse neuronal populations