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The Release of Excitatory Amino Acids, Dopamine, and Potassium Following Transplantation of Embryonic Mesencephalic Dopaminergic Grafts to the Rat Striatum, and Their Effects on Dopaminergic Neuronal Survival In Vitro

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A major limitation to the effectiveness of grafts of fetal ventral mesencephalic tissue for parkinsonism is that about 90–95% of grafted dopaminergic neurones die. In rats, many of the cells are dead within 1 day and most cell death is complete within 1 week. Our previous results suggest that a major cause of this cell death is the release of toxins from the injured CNS tissue surrounding the graft, and that many of these toxins have dissipated within 1 h of inserting the grafting cannula. In the present experiments we measured the change over time in the concentration of several potential toxins around an acutely implanted grafting cannula. We also measured the additional effect of injecting suspensions of embryonic mesencephalon, latex microspheres, or vehicle on these concentrations. Measurements of glutamate, aspartate, and dopamine by microdialysis showed elevated levels during the first 20–60 min, which then declined to baseline. In the first 20 min glutamate levels were 10.7 times, aspartate levels 5 times, and dopamine levels 24.3 times baseline. Potassium levels increased to a peak of 33 ± 10.6 mM 4–5 min after cannula insertion, returning to baseline of <5 mM by 30 min. Injection of cell suspension, latex microspheres, or vehicle had no significant effect on these levels. We then assayed the effect of high concentrations of glutamate, aspartate, dopamine, and potassium on dopaminergic neuronal survival in E14 ventral mesencephalic cultures. In monolayer cultures only dopamine at 200 μM showed toxicity. In three-dimensional cultures only the combination of raised potassium, dopamine, glutamate, and aspartate together decreased dopaminergic neuronal survival. We conclude that toxins other than the ones measured are the main cause of dopaminergic cell death after transplantation, or the effects of the toxins measured are enhanced by anoxia and metabolic challenges affecting newly inserted grafts.
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Keywords: Key words: Substantia nigra; Transplantation; Glut

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ‡Brain Repair Group, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3US, UK 2: *Cambridge University Centre for Brain Repair, Cambridge CB2 2PY, UK 3: †Department of Physiology, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 3EG, UK

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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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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