Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Vol 2, No 3 (2010)

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Cyclosporin A Enhances Cell Survival in Neural Precursor Populations in the Adult Central Nervous System

Jessica Hunt, Cindi Morshead


Cyclosporin A is a widely used immunosuppressive drug that selectively inhibits cell-mediated immune reactions. The discovery of Cyclosporin A has been critical to the success of transplantation therapies and distinguishing cellular mechanisms of the immune response. This PharmSight will focus on a novel application of Cyclosporin A in modulating the fate and behavior of Neural Precursor Cells (NPCs), a cell population consisting of stem cells and their progeny, which provide the basis for adult neurogenesis. Our recently published data indicate that Cyclosporin A, at therapeutically relevant concentrations, acts directly on NPCs to enhance their survival both in vitro and in vivo. The action of Cyclosporin A on NPC survival is promising for the development of regenerative strategies which aim to utilize NPCs to repair and regenerate damaged or diseased Central Nervous System (CNS) tissue. Herein, we present an overview of our recent findings, and further demonstrate the ability of Cyclosporin A to enhance the survival of regionally distinct NPC populations, as well as consider the potential mechanisms by which Cyclosporin A may mediate this effect. Finally we conclude by speculating on the potential therapeutic benefits of Cyclosporin A in the treatment of CNS injury and disease.

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