Abstract

The brain constitutes a privileged transplantation site. Under appropriate conditions neuronal tissues can survive transplantation into the damaged brain, integrate with the host, and alleviate functional impairments associated with neurological disease. The experimental techniques have been developed to the point of clinical application with demonstrable benefit in Parkinson's disease, and similar applications in Huntington's disease appear to be imminent. Nevertheless, present techniques require use of embryonic/fetal tissues which will limit the availability of donors for the foreseeable future. There is an active search for alternative sources of tissue that are equally effective but more readily available, including engineered cells, expanded stem/precursor cells, and xenografts.