The Potential of Human Amnion Epithelial Cells as an Immunomodulatory and Neuroregenerative Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

  • Courtney A. McDonald
  • Martin Short
  • Graham Jenkin
  • Claude Charles Andre Bernard


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that involves inflammation, axonal damage, and demyelination of the brain and spinal cord. Whilst there are a number of treatments currently available for this often debilitating disease, they all target the immune system with variable efficacy and are often associated with potentially serious side effects. Most compellingly is that whilst these drugs can prevent relapses and minimize long-term disability, they are not curative, do not aid in the regeneration of damaged neural tissue or protect the CNS from neurodegeneration associated with progressive forms of MS. As such there is an urgent need for the development of new therapies that are effective for patients with relapsing–remitting as well as progressive MS and can not only prevent CNS injury but assist with repair. One such potential therapy is stem cell transplantation. A number of different stem cell types have been shown to be efficacious in murine models of MS, and thus clinical trials are being undertaken to investigate the efficacy in the clinic. A novel stem cell source that is gaining attention is human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs). These cells have been shown to suppress inflammation, migrate to inflamed sites within the CNS, engraft and differentiate toward neural lineages. Given their immunosuppressive and neuroregenerative potential, hAECs are attractive candidates for the treatment of MS and other neurodegenerative disorders that affect the CNS.


Multiple Sclerosis Major Histocompatibility Complex Human Leukocyte Antigen Multiple Sclerosis Patient Stem Cell Therapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Courtney A. McDonald
    • 1
  • Martin Short
    • 2
  • Graham Jenkin
    • 1
  • Claude Charles Andre Bernard
    • 3
  1. 1.The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash Medical CentreMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Regenerative Medicine InstituteMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.Multiple Sclerosis Research GroupAustralian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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