Although therapeutic use of stem cells (SCs) is already available in some tissues (cornea, blood, and skin), in most organs we are far from reaching the translational goal of regenerative medicine. In the nervous system, due to intrinsic features which make it refractory to regeneration/repair, it is very hard to obtain functionally integrated regenerative outcomes, even starting from its own SCs (the neural stem cells; NSCs). Besides NSCs, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have also been proposed for therapeutic purposes in neurological diseases. Yet, direct (regenerative) and indirect (bystander) effects are often confused, as are MSCs and bone marrow-derived (stromal, osteogenic) stem cells (BMSCs), whose plasticity is actually overestimated (i.e., trans-differentiation along non-mesodermal lineages, including neural fates). In order to better understand failure in the "regenerative" use of SCs for neurological disorders, it could be helpful to understand how NSCs and BMSCs have adapted to their respective organ niches. In this perspective, here the adult osteogenic and neurogenic niches are considered and compared within their in vivo environment.
- brain repair, neurodegenerative diseases, neural stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, adult neurogenesis, osteogenesis