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In Vivo Evaluation of Pharmacologically Active Microcarriers Releasing Nerve Growth Factor and Conveying PC12 Cells

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Cell therapy will probably become a major therapeutic strategy in the coming years. Nevertheless, few cells survive transplantation when employed as a treatment for neuronal disorders. To address this problem, we have developed a new tool, the pharmacologically active microcarriers (PAM). PAM are biocompatible and biodegradable microparticles coated with cell adhesion molecules, conveying cells on their surface and presenting a controlled delivery of growth factor. Thus, the combined effect of growth factor and coating influences the transported cells by promoting their survival and differentiation and favoring their integration in the host tissue after their complete degradation. Furthermore, the released factor may also influence the microenvironment. In this study, we evaluated their efficacy using nerve growth factor (NGF)-releasing PAM and PC12 cells, in a Parkinson’s disease paradigm. After implantation of NGF-releasing or unloaded PAM conveying PC12 cells, or PC12 cells alone, we studied cell survival, differentiation, and apoptosis, as well as behavior of the treated rats. We observed that the NGF-releasing PAM coated with two synthetic peptides (poly-D-lysine and fibronectin-like) induced PC12 cell differentiation and reduced cell death and proliferation. Moreover, the animals receiving this implant presented an improved amphetamine-induced rotational behavior. These findings indicate that PAM could be a promising strategy for cell therapy of neurological diseases and could be employed in other situations with fetal cell transplants or with stem cells.

Keywords: Cell adhesion; Cell therapy; Microcarriers; Nerve growth factor; PC12 cells; Parkinson’s disease

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: *INSERM U 646, Laboratoire d’Ingénierie de la vectorisation particulaire, 10 rue André Boquel, 49100 Angers, France

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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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.

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