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Open Access Intracerebral Transplantation of Differentiated Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Hemiparkinsonian Monkeys

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To explore stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD), three adult rhesus monkeys were first rendered hemiparkinsonian by unilateral intracarotid 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) infusion. Five months postinfusion, they were given MRI-guided stereotaxic intrastriatal and intranigral injections of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled cultures of dopaminergic neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells (DA-hES cells). The animals were immunosuppressed using daily oral cyclosporine (CsA). Three months later, viable grafts were observed at the injection sites in one animal, while no obvious grafts were present in the other two monkeys. The surviving grafts contained numerous GFP-positive cells that were positively labeled for nestin and MAP2 but not for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), NeuN, or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). The grafted areas in all animals showed dense staining for GFAP, CD68, and CD45. These results indicated that xenografts of human stem cell derivatives in CsA-suppressed rhesus brain were mostly rejected. Our study suggests that immunological issues are obstacles for preclinical evaluation of hES cells and that improved immunosuppression paradigms and/or alternative cell sources that do not elicit immune rejection are needed for long-term preclinical studies.
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Keywords: Cell differentiation; Cell transplantation; Dopamine (DA); Human embryonic stem (hES) cells; Immune rejection; Parkinson's disease (PD)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Preclinical Parkinson’s Research Program, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, Madison, WI, USA

Publication date: 2013-05-01

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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