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Aging Reduces the Neuroprotective Capacity, VEGF Secretion, and Metabolic Activity of Rat Choroid Plexus Epithelial Cells

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Delivery of neurotrophic molecules to the brain has potential for preventing neuronal loss in neurodegenerative disorders. Choroid plexus (CP) epithelial cells secrete numerous neurotrophic factors, and encapsulated CP transplants are neuroprotective in models of stroke and Huntington's disease (HD). To date, all studies examining the neuroprotective potential of CP transplants have used cells isolated from young donor animals. Because the aging process significantly impacts the cytoarchitecture and function of the CP the following studies determined whether age-related impairments occur in its neuroprotective capacity. CP was isolated from either young (3–4 months) or aged (24 months) rats. In vitro, young CP epithelial cells secreted more VEGF and were metabolically more active than aged CP epithelial cells. Additionally, conditioned medium from cultured aged CP was less potent than young CP at enhancing the survival of serum-deprived neurons. Finally, encapsulated CP was tested in an animal model of HD. Cell-loaded or empty alginate capsules (control group) were transplanted unilaterally into the rat striatum. Seven days later, the animals received an injection of quinolinic acid (QA; 225 nmol) adjacent to the implant site. Animals were tested for motor function 28 days later. In the control group, QA lesions severely impaired function of the contralateral forelimb. Implants of young CP were potently neuroprotective as rats receiving CP transplants were not significantly impaired when tested for motor function. In contrast, implants of CP from aged rats were only modestly effective and were much less potent than young CP transplants. These data are the first to directly link aging with diminished neuroprotective capacity of CP epithelial cells.
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Keywords: Aging; Alginate; Choroid plexus; Encapsulation; VEGF; Xenotransplant

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: LCT BioPharma, Inc., Providence, RI, USA

Publication date: 2007-07-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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