Immunol Cell Biol 2011 May 23;89(4):511-6. Epub 2010 Nov 23.
Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute (Vaxinfectio), Faculty of Medicine, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
Currently, much attention is given to the development of cellular therapies for treatment of central nervous system (CNS) injuries. Diverse cell implantation strategies, either to directly replace damaged neural tissue or to create a neuroregenerative environment, are proposed to restore impaired brain function. However, because of the complexity of the CNS, it is now becoming clear that the contribution of cell implantation into the brain will mainly act in a supportive manner. In addition, given the time dependence of neural development during embryonic and post-natal life, cellular implants, either self or non-self, will most likely have to interact for a sustained period of time with both healthy and injured neural tissue. The latter also implies potential recognition of cellular implants by the innate immune system of the brain. In this review, we will emphasize on preclinical observations in rodents, regarding the recognition and immunogenicity of autologous, allogeneic and xenogeneic cellular implants in the CNS of immune-competent hosts. Taken together, we here suggest that a profound study of the interaction between cellular grafts and the brain's innate immune system will be inevitable before clinical cell transplantation in the CNS can be performed successfully.