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Co-Grafts of Fetal Ventral Mesencephalon and Fibroblasts Expressing Sonic Hedgehog: Effect on Survival and Function of Dopamine Grafts

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Fibroblasts derived from the Rat2 parental cell line were genetically modified to express the cell-associated form of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and then co-grafted along with E14 fetal ventral mesencephalon (VM) tissue into the denervated striatum of F344 rats; fetal VM grafts alone or co-grafts using the nonexpressing Rat2 fibroblasts served as controls. Seven weeks after grafting, co-grafts of fetal VM and fibroblasts expressing Shh (Rat2/Shh) contained significantly more tyrosine hydroxylase-positive (TH+) neurons than either the fetal VM grafts or co-grafts of fetal VM plus nonexpressing fibroblasts (Rat2). Despite a significantly higher yield of grafted TH+ neurons in the fetal VM + Rat2/Shh co-grafts than in either of the other two control groups, amphetamine-induced rotational behavior scores were not significantly different between any of the three treatment groups. The number of TH+ neurons in the Rat2 (nonexpressing) co-grafts was significantly lower than the other two treatment groups. The results from this study suggest that fibroblasts expressing Shh may improve the number of co-grafted dopamine neurons, but do not improve the functional capacity of the graft in terms of improving amphetamine-induced rotational behavior.
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Keywords: Dopamine; Rodent; Genetically modified fibroblasts; Fetal ventral mesencephalon; Key words: Neural transplantation; Sonic hedgehog; Parkinson’s disease

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Surgery/Neurosurgery, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536-0305 2: †Curis, Inc., 45 Moulton Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Publication date: 2001-08-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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