CORDIS - EU research results

Novel Strategies for Cell-based Neural Reconstruction

Project description

Stem cell therapy could restore local and distant neuronal brain networks

Science has made tremendous progress in understanding the neuronal circuitry of the brain in both health and disease, as well as in terms of its structure and function. Our knowledge of local and distant brain circuitry seen in neurodegenerative diseases, combined with the potential of human embryonic stem cells for cell and tissue regeneration, can advance the treatment of debilitating diseases like Parkinson's and Huntington's. The EU-funded NSC-Reconstruct project is pushing the frontiers in research on stem cells for single cell types. In an ambitious effort, the team plans to reconstruct local networks through the incorporation of numerous cell types, and to restore complex networks and cortical projections, for truly functional and effective repair in complicated conditions like neurodegenerative diseases and stroke.


Neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries affect large patient groups and carry large unmet clinical needs. NSC-Reconstruct will respond to these needs by developing innovative therapies based on cell replacement, cell reprogramming and circuit reconstruction that have the potential to transform how we treat a wide range of neurological diseases and disorders.
In this area of clinical science European research has generated groundbreaking knowledge that has resulted in a pioneering human embryonic stem cell-derived product that is now entering clinical trials for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In NSC-Reconstruct we will move beyond the replacement of a single neuronal type towards future cell therapies with enhanced authenticity, functions and compositions.
NSC-Reconstruct will address PD as an example of disorder for which single neuron replacement has been developed. Our focus in PD will be on incorporating improved cell types and on local network reconstruction. We will also work on repairing long distance networks such as those affected in Huntington’s disease and finally in restoring the complex networks and projections of the cerebral cortex to achieve effective repair in conditions known to affect this structure, such as trauma or stroke.
NSC-Reconstruct will lead to (i) the generation of neuronal types with clinically relevant functionality starting from human pluripotent stem cells or through in situ reprogramming, (ii) the optimization of donor cell composition through grafting of functional modules comprising distinct cell types capable of forming appropriate connections, (iii) the restoration of function through the reconstruction of these damaged connections and finally (iv) a greater understanding of the immunogenicity of grafted cells and how this can be minimized.
Ultimately, NSC-Reconstruct will provide unique knowledge and products that will pave the way for future CNS cell replacement therapies using functionally enhanced and immune-tolerant cells.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 518 495,00
Via Festa Del Perdono 7
20122 Milano

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 518 495,00

Participants (12)