The first edition of Functional Neural Transplantation, appearing in 1994, was commissioned to provide a systematic overview of the main areas of active research into the use of neural transplantation for functional repair at that time. There have though been major developments in the field over the last decade. First, whereas many of the model systems are the same, the sophistication of the research has developed dramatically. Secondly, there has been a major change in focus related to the nature of the optimal reparative process, moving away from a primary goal involving repair by replacement of lost cells, to strategies based on halting or reversing the disease process itself. Thirdly, the last decade has (not surprisingly) seen an expansion in the breadth of clinical applications for transplantation not only of primary embryonic neural tissues but also the initial applications of cells and cell lines.
In order to address these recent developments as we enter the 21st century, 10 years after conception and 6 years after the publication of Functional Neural Transplantation, the Editors have now sought to co-ordinate and edit an updated version, Functional Neural Transplantation II.
Functional Neural Transplantation II is not just a revised edition of the previous volume, but an entirely new and complementary second volume to update the field to 'state of the art' for the new millennium. For many major topic areas (such as functional repair in neurodegenerative disorders of the basal ganglia) there has been a continual flow of significant advances. Although these topics are covered in both volumes, the Editors have sought to avoid duplication by requiring that the present coverage emphasises the major developments over the last decade while relying on the first volume for the background overviews. Other topics though are entirely new in the present volume, such as novel applications of neural transplantation to other major clinical relevance such as retinal repair or alleviation of pain. A key departure of the present volume is the addition of several early chapters addressing the technical and developmental issues associated with identification of alternative sources of cells for transplantation - cell lines, immortalised cells, precursor/stem cells and xenotransplantation.