An interneuron-based cell transplantation therapy for intractable epilepsies
Transplantation of neuronal precursors into the CNS offers great promise for the treatment of neurological disease. Reports of neural progenitor cells with the ability to disperse and differentiate into neurons following transplantation have further raised expectations that defective brain circuits can be repaired. Using transplanted progenitors from the embryonic medial ganglionic eminence (or MGE) we are exploring the possibility that these cells will influence synaptic function in the host brain and reduce seizures. Our work takes advantage of the unique ability of MGE progenitor cells to migrate and integrate as inhibitory GABAergic interneurons following transplantation.
Current projects include (i) evaluating the functional integration of transplanted MGE progenitor cells using in vivo and in vitro techniques and (ii) pre-clinical proof-of-principle studies aimed at evaluation of the disease modifying potential of transplanted cells in intractable forms of epilepsy.