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Open Access Enhanced Survival of Dopaminergic Neuronal Transplants in Hemiparkinsonian Rats by the p53 Inactivator PFT-α

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A key limiting factor impacting the success of cell transplantation for Parkinson's disease is the survival of the grafted cells, which are often short lived. The focus of this study was to examine a novel strategy to optimize the survival of exogenous fetal ventromesencephalic (VM) grafts by treatment with the p53 inhibitor, pifithrin-α (PFT-α), to improve the biological outcome of parkinsonian animals. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were given 6-hydroxydopamine into the left medial forebrain bundle to induce a hemiparkinsonian state. At 7 weeks after lesioning, animals were grafted with fetal VM or cortical tissue into the lesioned striatum and, thereafter, received daily PFT-α or vehicle injections for 5 days. Apomorphine-induced rotational behavior was examined at 2, 6, 9, and 12 weeks after grafting. Analysis of TUNEL or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunostaining was undertaken at 5 days or 4 months after grafting. The transplantation of fetal VM tissue into the lesioned striatum reduced rotational behavior. A further reduction in rotation was apparent in animals receiving PFT-α and VM transplants. By contrast, no significant reduction in rotation was evident in animals receiving cortical grafts or cortical grafts + PFT-α. PFT-α treatment reduced TUNEL labeling and increased TH+ cell and fiber density in the VM transplants. In conclusion, our data indicate that early postgrafting treatment with PFT-α enhances the survival of dopamine cell transplants and augments behavioral recovery in parkinsonian animals.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Neuroprotection; Parkinson's disease; Transplantation; p53

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD, USA

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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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.
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