Use of Progenitor Cells in Pain Management
Pp. 75-99 (25)
M.J. Eaton, Stacey Quintero Wolfe and Eva Widerström-Noga
The use of progenitor/stem cells to modulate the sensory systems in chronic pain is a new field in
translational research. This follows 30 years of non-human cell therapy approaches to elucidate which tissue
source, cell phenotype, neurotransmitter, or peptide might be antinociceptive in models of pain. Stem or
progenitor approaches have been tested in cardiac myopathies, liver dysfunction, stroke, and genetic
abnormalities, but almost none have applied progenitor cells to the relief of neuropathic, pain. Perhaps the best
studied neural progenitor cell line NT2, has recently resulted in two NT2-derived cell lines: hNT2.17, secreting
the inhibitory neurotransmitters GABA and glycine; and hNT2.19, secreting the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Each of these NT2-lines has demonstrated antinociceptive potential in models of SCI-related neuropathic pain,
in peripheral neuropathy, and diabetic neuropathic pain. These human progenitors may prove to be useful in the
relief of chronic pain and open the way to other regenerative approaches to pain management.
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