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Stem cell therapy in autism: recent insights

Authors Siniscalco D, Kannan S, Semprún-Hernández N, Eshraghi AA, Brigida AL, Antonucci N

Received 31 July 2018

Accepted for publication 11 September 2018

Published 23 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 55—67


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Bernard Binetruy

Dario Siniscalco,1 Suresh Kannan,2 Neomar Semprún-Hernández,3 Adrien A Eshraghi,4 Anna Lisa Brigida,5 Nicola Antonucci6

1Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Campania, Napoli, Italy; 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India; 3Research Division, Autism Immunology Unit of Maracaibo, Catedra libre de Autismo, Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela; 4Department of Otolaryngology, Hearing Research and Cochlear Implant Laboratory, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA; 5Italian Group for Studying Autism – GISA, Brescia, Italy; 6Biomedical Centre for Autism Research and Treatment, Bari, Italy

Abstract: Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by core domains: persistent deficits in social communication and interaction; restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. ASDs comprise heterogeneous and complex neurodevelopmental pathologies with well-defined inflammatory conditions and immune system dysfunction. Due to neurobiologic changes underlying ASD development, cell-based therapies have been proposed and applied to ASDs. Indeed, stem cells show specific immunologic properties, which make them promising candidates in ASD treatment. This comprehensive up-to-date review focuses on ASD cellular/molecular abnormalities, potentially useful stem cell types, animal models, and current clinical trials on the use of stem cells in treating autism. Limitations are also discussed.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, stem cell, cell therapy, immune dysfunction

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