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Engineered BDNF producing cells as a potential treatment for neurologic disease.



Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in wide range of neurological diseases and injury. This neurotrophic factor is vital for neuronal health, survival, and synaptic connectivity. Many therapies focus on the restoration or enhancement of BDNF following injury or disease progression.

Areas covered

The present review will focus on the mechanisms in which BDNF exerts its beneficial functioning, current BDNF therapies, issues and potential solutions for delivery of neurotrophic factors to the central nervous system, and other disease indications that may benefit from overexpression or restoration of BDNF.

Expert opinion

Due to the role of BDNF in neuronal development, maturation, and health, BDNF is implicated in numerous neurological diseases making it a prime therapeutic agent. Numerous studies have shown the therapeutic potential of BDNF in a number of neurodegenerative disease models and in acute CNS injury, however clinical translation has fallen short due to issues in delivering this molecule. The use of MSC as a delivery platform for BDNF holds great promise for clinical advancement of neurotrophic factor restoration. The ease with which MSC can be engineered opens the door to the possibility of using this cell-based delivery system to advance a BDNF therapy to the clinic.

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