The enteric nervous system (ENS) is vulnerable to a variety of genetic, metabolic or environmental threats, resulting in clinical disorders characterized by loss or malfunction of neuronal elements. These disorders have been difficult to treat and there is much enthusiasm for novel therapies such as neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation to restore ENS function in diseased segments of the gut. Recent research has indicated the potential for a variety of innovative approaches to this effect using NSC obtained from the central nervous system (CNS) as well as gut derived enteric neuronal progenitors. The main goal of this review is to summarize the current status of NSC research as it applies to the ENS, delineate a roadmap for effective therapeutic strategies using NSC transplantation and point out the numerous challenges that lie ahead.
- Enteric nervous system
- Motility disorders
- Neural stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems