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Xenografts of MHC-Deficient Mouse Embryonic Mesencephalon Improve Behavioral Recovery in Hemiparkinsonian Rats

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The limited availability of human embryonic tissue for dopamine cell transplants in Parkinson's patients has led to an increased interest in using xenogeneic donor tissue. Unfortunately, without aggressive immunosuppression, such brain xenografts are rejected by the host immune system. Chronic brain xenograft rejection is largely mediated by helper T cells, which require presentation of xenoantigens by major histocompatability complex (MHC) class II for their activation. We examined survival and function of xenografts of E13 mouse mesencephalon deficient in either MHC class I, class II, or both after transplantation into adult hemiparkinsonian rats without immunosuppression. Recipients received grafts from C57BL/6 mice that were either: 1) wild-type (wt), 2) MHC class I knockout (KO), 3) MHC class II KO, 4) MHC class I and II double KO, or 5) saline sham transplants. At 6 weeks after transplantation, recipients of MHC class I KO, class II KO, and double KO xenografts significantly reduced methamphetamine-induced circling rate while rats with wt xenografts and sham-operated rats showed no improvement. MHC class II KO grafts had the greatest number of surviving dopamine neurons. All transplants, including saline sham controls, contained infiltrating host MHC class II-positive cells. Saline sham grafts and MHC class II KO xenografts contained significantly fewer infiltrating host MHC class II-positive cells than did wt grafts. Our results show that MHC class II-deficient xenografts survive transplantation for at least 6 weeks in the absence of immunosuppression, reduce rotational asymmetry, and provoke lesser immune reaction than wt grafts.
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Keywords: Key words: Neural transplantation; Xenotransplantation; Immunosuppression; Major histocompatability complex (MHC); Parkinson's disease; Dopamine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ‡Department Pharmacology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO 80262 2: §Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO 80262 3: ¶Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO 80206

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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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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