Dopaminergic Reinnervation of the Globus Pallidus by Fetal Nigral Grafts in the Rodent Model of Parkinson's Disease
Abstract:The current neural transplantation strategy for Parkinson's disease (PD) involves the dopaminergic reinnervation of the striatum (STR). Although up to 85% reinnervation of the STR has been attained by neural transplantation, functional recovery in animal models and transplanted patients is incomplete. This limitation may be due to an incomplete restoration of the dopaminergic input to other basal ganglia structures such as the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe, homologue of the rodent GP), which normally receives dopaminergic input from the substantia nigra (SN). As part of our investigation into a multiple grafting strategy for PD, we have explored the effects of dopaminergic grafts in the GP of rodents with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions. In this experiment, lesioned rats received either 300,000 fetal ventral mesencephalic (FVM) cells or a sham injection into the GP. Functional assessment consisted of rotational behavior at 3 and 6 weeks posttransplantation. A fluorogold tracer study was conducted to rule out any behavioral improvement due to striatal outgrowth of the GP graft. Sections were stained for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) to assess the degree of trauma in the GP by the graft in comparison to the sham injection. Immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) was performed after transplantation to assess graft survival. Animals with GP grafts demonstrated a significant improvement in rotational behavior at 3 and 6 weeks posttransplantation (p < 0.05) while sham control animals did not improve. All animals receiving FVM cells showed TH-immunoreactive grafts in the GP posttransplantation. TH-positive neurons in the GP showed no double labeling with an intrastriatal injection of fluorogold, indicating that behavioral improvement was not due to striatal innervation by the GP graft. These observations suggest that functional recovery was the result of dopaminergic reinnervation of the GP and that this nucleus may be a potential target for neural transplantation in clinical PD.
Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: 2005-02-01
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