Neuromyelitis optica (NMO, Devic's disease) is an autoimmune condition involving simultaneous inflammation and demyelination of the optic nerve (optic neuritis) and the spinal cord (myelitis). NMO results in vision loss and spinal cord dysfunction.
Stem cell transplantation is a promising therapy for NMO. Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) possess the differentiation potential into neural cells, secrete trophic factors and cytokines, and regulate immunological function, and bear therapeutic potential for neurological diseases, rendering them an attractive cell type for NMO therapy.
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have the capacity to differentiate into mature blood cells; their infusion allows for regeneration of a normal immune system that will no longer attack the patient's body, providing relief for autoimmune disorders.