New research data show HK532-IGF-1 cell therapy may be beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease

Written by Alexandra Thompson

Researchers from the University of Michigan (MI, USA) presented data on treating a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease with genetically modified neural stem cells at the ISSCR2015.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most commonly diagnosed form of dementia, involving the parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. As a neurodegenerative disease, it begins with mild memory loss and leads to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment. With no known cure, an increasing prevalence and an aging population, there is a clear and urgent need for an effective treatment.

In a poster presentation at the 2015 International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan (MI, USA) presented data on a stem cell therapy they have been developing for AD, using a Neuralstem (MD, USA) cell line.

The team presented data demonstrating the effects of HK532-IGF-1 cell transplantation into the peri-hippocampus of a mouse model of AD. HK532-IGF-1 is a proprietary line of cortical neural stem cells genetically modified to express IGF-1, known to have a wide range of neuroprotective effects.

These mice showed better hippocampal-dependent behavioral and had lower b-amyloid plaque levels compared with untreated mice, indicating a positive impact on learning and memory, as well as AD pathology. The researchers hope to continue their investigations into the benefits of HK532-IGF-1 transplantation.

Sources: McGinley LM, Kashlan ON, Chen KS et al. Human neural stem cells expressing IGF-1: a novel cellular therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. Presented at: International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden (25 June 2015);