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Ultrastructural Characterization of Dissociated Embryonic Ventral Mesencephalic Tissue Treated With Neuroprotectants

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Poor survival and differentiation of grafted dopamine neurons limits the application of clinical transplantation in Parkinson’s disease. The survival of grafted dopamine neurons is only improved by a factor of 2–3 by adding neuroprotectants during tissue preparation. We used dye exclusion cell viability and electron microscopy to investigate the effects of the caspase inhibitor ac-YVAD-cmk and the lazaroid tirilazad mesylate on ultrastructural changes in dissociated embryonic mesencephalic cells. In addition, we examined whether the neuroprotectants selectively counteracted specific signs of neurodegeneration. Cell viability decreased significantly over time in both control and treated cell suspensions, but the number of viable cells remaining was significantly higher in tirilazad mesylate-treated cell suspensions. In control samples, the proportion of cells with an ultrastructure consistent with healthy cells decreased from 70%, immediately after dissociation, to 30% after 8 h of incubation. Similar changes were also observed in cell suspensions treated with neuroprotectants. Thus, the neuroprotectants examined did not block the development of specific morphological signs of neurodegeneration. However, when also taking into account that dead cells lysed and disappeared from each cell suspension with time, we found that the total number of remaining viable cells with healthy nuclear chromatin or intact membrane integrity was significantly higher in the tirilazad mesylate-treated group. The results indicate that tirilazad mesylate protects only a small subpopulation of embryonic mesencephalic cells from degeneration induced by mechanical trauma during tissue dissection and dissociation.
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Keywords: Caspase inhibitor; Embryonic mesencephalic; Lazaroid; Survival; Ultrastructure; Viability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Section for Neuronal Survival, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, BMC A10, SE-221 84 Lund, Sweden

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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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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