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Neural Stem Cells Implanted Into MPTP-Treated Monkeys Increase the Size of Endogenous Tyrosine Hydroxylase-Positive Cells Found in the Striatum: A Return to Control Measures

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Neural stem cells (NSC) have been shown to migrate towards damaged areas, produce trophic factors, and replace lost cells in ways that might be therapeutic for Parkinson's disease (PD). However, there is very little information on the effects of NSC on endogenous cell populations. In the current study, effects of implanted human NSC (hNSC) on endogenous tyrosine hydroxylase-positive cells (TH+ cells) after treatment with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetra-hydropyridine (MPTP) were explored in nonhuman primates. After MPTP damage and in PD, the primate brain is characterized by decreased numbers of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and an increase in neurons expressing TH in the caudate nucleus. To determine how implanted NSC might affect these cell populations, 11 St. Kitts African green monkeys were treated with the selective dopaminergic neurotoxin, MPTP. Human NSC were implanted into the left and right caudate nucleus and the right SN of eight of the MPTP-treated monkeys. At either 4 or 7 months after NSC implants, the brains were removed and the size and number of TH+ cells in the target areas were assessed. The results were compared to data obtained from normal untreated control monkeys and to the three unimplanted MPTP-treated monkeys. The majority of hNSC were found bilaterally along the nigrostriatal pathway and in the substantia nigra, while relatively few were found in the caudate. In the presence of NSC, the number and size of caudate TH+ cells returned to non-MPTP-treated control levels. MPTP-induced and hNSC-induced changes in the putamen were less apparent. We conclude that after MPTP treatment in the primate, hNSC prevent the MPTP-induced upregulation of TH+ cells in the caudate and putamen, indicating that hNSC may be beneficial to maintaining a normal striatal environment.
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Keywords: Caudate; Dopamine; MPTP; Neural stem cells; Parkinson's disease; Substantia nigra

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 2: Department of Neurosurgery, Yale Medical School, New Haven, CT, Department of Psychiatry, Yale Medical School, New Haven, CT 3: Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Department of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 4: Department of Psychiatry, Yale Medical School, New Haven, CT 5: Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Burnham Institute, La Jolla, CA

Publication date: 01 April 2005

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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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