Olfactory Ectomesenchymal Stem Cells – A Viable Treatment for Neurodegenerative Disorders

One of the most prominent risk factors contributing to the development of neurodegenerative disorders is age. Over 35 million older adults in the United States suffer from age-related diseases. As people age, their ability to self-repair neuronal cells undergoes progressive deterioration. Once initiated, this process can hamper the limited regenerative power of the nervous system, making the search for new therapeutic strategies particularly difficult in elderly affected patients.

So far, Olfactory Ectomesenchymal Stem Cells are proving to be a viable option to ameliorate certain aspects of neurodegeneration as they differentiate in vitro into multiple lineages and possess a high proliferative rate.

Patients who have Parkinson's disease are in the second category of neurodegenerative dysfunctions after Alzheimer's. Parkinson's disease can disrupt the striatum cell's ability to secrete dopamine resulting in a range of dysfunctional movement symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia. The prevalence of Parkinson's is nearly 1–2% of the older adults over 65 years, and it is also estimated that the figures will double by the year 2030.

A recent development in the treatment of PD has been cell therapy, as they have proven to be beneficial for patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. In the last ten years, numerous studies have been conducted in patients with neurodegenerative disorders, with different cells, such as pluripotent and multipotent stem cells. However, the existing sources of cells have shown varied efficacy and capacity to restrict nigrostriatal neurodegeneration and related motor disabilities. Unfortunately, current approaches have demonstrated to be ineffective and merely recover symptoms of the disease. Also, embryonic‐derived stem cells (ESCs) have limited technical, ethical, and practical problems that make them problematic for medical applications.

The olfactory mucosa has two layers, including lamina propria and olfactory epithelium, and these cells could be an easily accessible alternative for the reconstruction of central nervous tissue. Olfactory ectomesenchymal stem cells (OE‐MSCs) have received a considerable amount of attention due to the high proliferation capacity and long telomerase of these cells compared with other MSCs like bone marrow. Also, recent studies have suggested that OE‐MSCs have the immunosuppressive capacity in controlling T‐cell responses, which can play an essential role in targeting autoimmune diseases.

With recent development in the field of medical science, tests are also being conducted to see the behavior of MSCs in the PD model. Fortunately, the results have been very promising, and the data showed that this new source of MSCs could be considered in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.


Simorgh, S., Alizadeh, R., Eftekharzadeh, M., Haramshahi, S. M. A., Milan, P. B., Doshmanziari, M., ... & Moradi, F. (2019). Olfactory mucosa stem cells: An available candidate for the treatment of the Parkinson's disease. Journal of cellular physiology234(12), 23763-23773.

Alizadeh, R., Ramezanpour, F., Mohammadi, A., Eftekharzadeh, M., Simorgh, S., Kazemiha, M., & Moradi, F. (2019). Differentiation of human olfactory system‐derived stem cells into dopaminergic neuron‐like cells: A comparison between olfactory bulb and mucosa as two sources of stem cells. Journal of cellular biochemistry120(12), 19712-19720.

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