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Transplantation of Embryonic Porcine Neocortical Tissue Into Newborn Rats

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Several previous studies, suggesting the potential use of embryonic xenografts in the treatment of neurological disorders, indicate that neural growth and axonal guidance factors may function across species. In this light, blocks of fetal porcine neocortex were grafted into small cortical lesion cavities made in newborn rats. Sacrifice at 3–12.5 weeks posttransplantation revealed healthy looking grafts in several animals. Apparent graft rejection evidenced by areas of necrosis and OX1 reactivity was observed in some of the older transplants. Treatment of nursing mothers or of postweaning newborns with cyclosporin A did not appear to promote graft survival. Some transplants grew to extremely large proportions and were characterized by bands of cells and bundles of axons as observed using immunohistochemical staining for pig neurofilament. Neurofilament-positive axons projected from several of the grafts to course through the corpus callosum to the contralateral cortex or to course ipsilaterally within the subcortical white matter, where labeled fibers could be traced to the midbrain crus cerebri in older transplants. Bundles of axons were also observed coursing within the ipsilateral caudate putamen where terminal branching was apparent. The normal course of transplant efferents within the host brain indicates that growing pig axons can respond to rodent axonal guidance factors.
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Keywords: Neonatal; Neurofilament-positive axons; Transplant; Xenograft

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Loyola University School of Medicine, Maywood, IL 60153 2: †Institute of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Southern Denmark-Odense, Winsløwparken 21, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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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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