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Primate adult brain cell autotransplantation produces behavioral and biological recovery in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced parkinsonian St. Kitts monkeys.
Journal of Comparative Neurology
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish PDF : Research Article
The potential for "replacement cells" to restore function in Parkinson's disease has been widely reported over the past 3 decades, rejuvenating the central nervous system rather than just relieving symptoms. Most such experiments have used fetal or embryonic sources that may induce immunological rejection and generate ethical concerns. Autologous sources, in which the cells to be implanted are derived from recipients' own cells after reprogramming to stem cells, direct genetic modifications, or epigenetic modifications in culture, could eliminate many of these problems. In a previous study on autologous brain cell transplantation, we demonstrated that adult monkey brain cells, obtained from cortical biopsies and kept in culture for 7 weeks, exhibited potential as a method of brain repair after low doses of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) caused dopaminergic cell death. The present study exposed monkeys to higher MPTP doses to produce significant parkinsonism and behavioral impairments. Cerebral cortical cells were biopsied from the animals, held in culture for 7 weeks to create an autologous neural cell "ecosystem" and reimplanted bilaterally into the striatum of the same six donor monkeys. These cells expressed neuroectodermal and progenitor markers such as nestin, doublecortin, GFAP, neurofilament, and vimentin. Five to six months after reimplantation, histological analysis with the dye PKH67 and unbiased stereology showed that reimplanted cells survived, migrated bilaterally throughout the striatum, and seemed to exert a neurorestorative effect. More tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons and significant behavioral improvement followed reimplantation of cultured autologous neural cells as a result of unknown trophic factors released by the grafts. J. Comp. Neurol. 522:2729-2740, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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