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Combined transplantation of neural precursor cells and olfactory ensheathing cells for the treatment of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy in children

Authors Yang H, Zhang Y, Wang ZY, Lu W, Liu F, Yu X, Zheng XY, Yang YX, Luan Z, Qu SQ

Received 11 October 2016

Accepted for publication 21 February 2017

Published 18 April 2017 Volume 2017:5 Pages 93—101

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JN.S124367

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Hongyun Huang


Hui Yang,1,* Yu Zhang,1,* Zhaoyan Wang,1 Wei Lu,1 Fang Liu,1 Xin Yu,2 Xiaoyan Zheng,1 Yinxiang Yang,1 Zuo Luan,1 Suqing Qu1

1Department of Pediatrics, 2Department of Neurological Surgery, Navy General Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is only suitable for early-stage adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). In this study, we observed the therapeutic efficacy of combined transplantation of neural precursor cells (NPCs) and olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) on late-stage X-linked ALD in nine children who were admitted in our hospital between June 2009 and January 2014. Related patient information included onset time 3 months to 1 year, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) score 11.02±0.90, and neurologic function score 2–3. All patients received combined transplantation of NPCs and OECs by injection around the lateral angle of the frontotemporal–occipital lesion under MRI guidance. It was found that the visual function, sleep, and communication obstacles were improved significantly without evidence of disease progression in six (66.7%) of the nine patients within 1 month after transplantation. In two of the six patients, the lesions became significantly smaller than before, although their MRI scores remained unchanged significantly. In addition, cell therapy did not induce any irreversible adverse event during the study period, indicating that combined transplantation of NPCs and OECs was safe and reliable, and could improve the clinical manifestations of ALD in children within a short time. Although this cell therapy was not able to halt the progression of the disease 1–3 months after transplantation, it could still be used as an early treatment and provide patients with more opportunities for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which is the only effective long-term treatment for X-linked ALD at present. The preliminary results from this study suggest that a comprehensive prevention strategy of serial and combined transplantation may improve some functions for ALD patients in the short-term, however, long-term effects need further study.

Keywords: X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, combined transplantation, neural precursor cells, olfactory ensheathing cells

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