Cell-based remyelinating therapies in multiple sclerosis: Evidence from experimental studies

Stefano Pluchino, Roberto Furlan, Gianvito Martino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of review: Spontaneous remyelination occurs in the central nervous system of patients with multiple sclerosis. However, this process is not robust enough to promote a functional and stable recovery of the myelin architecture. The development of cell-based therapies, aimed at promoting multifocal remyelination, is therefore foreseen. Recent findings: Several experimental cell-based strategies aimed at replacing damaged myelin-forming cells have been developed in the last few years. However, most of these therapeutic approaches - although consistently able to form new myelin sheaths at the transplantation site - are unfeasible owing to the mutifocality of the demyelinating process in multiple sclerosis patients and the inability to grow and produce large numbers of differentiated myelin-forming cells in vitro. Stem cell-based therapies that partially overcome these limitations have been proposed recently. Summary: Stem cell-based remyelinating therapies can be considered a plausible alternative strategy in immune-mediated demyelinating disorders. However, before any potential applications in patients with multiple sclerosis can be envisaged, it is necessary to confront the following preliminary, and still unsolved, questions: (1) the ideal stem cell source for transplantation; (2) the most appropriate route of stem cell administration; and, last but not least, (3) the best approach for achieving an appropriate, functional and long-lasting integration of transplanted stem cells into the host tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Cell therapy
  • Demyelination
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neural stem cells
  • Remyelination
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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