Currently there are no therapies for treating Alzheimer's disease (AD) that can effectively halt disease progression. Existing drugs such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or NMDA receptor antagonists offers only symptomatic benefit. More recently, transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) to treat neurodegenerative diseases, including AD, has been investigated as a new therapeutic approach. Transplanted cells have the potential to replace damaged neural circuitry and secrete neurotrophic factors to counter symptomatic deterioration or to alter lesion protein levels. However, since there are animal models that can recapitulate AD in its entirety, it is challenging to precisely characterize the positive effects of transplanting NSCs. In the present review, we discuss the types of mouse modeling system that are available and the effect in each model after human-derived NSC (hNSC) or murine-derived NSC (mNSC) transplantation. Taken together, results from studies involving NSC transplantation in AD models indicate that this strategy could serve as a new therapeutic approach.
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