A microtransplantation approach for cell suspension grafting in the rat Parkinson model: a detailed account of the methodology

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Shortcomings of current techniques used for the intracerebral transplantation of ventral mesencephalic dopamine neurons include low graft survival, high variability, considerable implantation trauma and suboptimal graft integration. In order to overcome these limitations, we have adopted a microtransplantation approach which allows precise and reproducible implantation of ventral mesencephalon cell suspensions at single or multiple sites with minimal trauma and improved survival and integration of the grafted neurons [Nikkhah et al. (1994) Brain Res. 633, 133-143]. The present study was undertaken to determine the influence of different grafting parameters as well as the time-course of development of micrografted dopaminergic neurons and to devise an optimal microtransplantation procedure in the rat Parkinson model, Rats with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the nigrostriatal pathway received four graft deposits of either 0.25, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 microliters along four injection tracts (150,000 cells/microliters) using either a glass capillary (o.d. 50-70 microns) or a regular cannula (o.d. 0.50 mm, metal cannula grafts). At one, two and 12 weeks postgrafting (capillary grafts) and at 12 weeks postgrafting (metal cannula grafts) dopamine neuron survival and graft volumes were measured and the implantation trauma assessed by glial fibrillary acidic protein expression. The results demonstrate that single deposits of 50,000-75,000 cells in 0.5 microliter, implanted with a glass capillary, provide the best environment both for dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic neuron survival. Grafts implanted with the glass capillary showed much weaker long-term glial fibrillary acidic protein expression along the injection tract and around the implants than was the case in grafts implanted with the thicker metal cannula. Optimal graft integration and minimal disturbances of host brain structures can reliably be achieved by small-sized implants (20,000-35,000 cells/deposit). Tyrosine hydroxylase-positive fiber outgrowth from micrografted dopaminergic neurons was seen not only in the surrounding caudate-putamen, but also along white matter tracts into the nucleus accumbens and the overlying cerebral cortex. Spreading of dopaminergic micrografts over multiple small deposits rather than increasing the volume of single grafts gave more extensive reinnervation of the entire host striatum. The micrografting technique provides a useful tool to improve graft-host interactions in the rat Parkinson model, and it allows more precise and reproducible quantitative studies on dopamine neuron survival and growth in intrastriatal ventral mesencephalon transplants. This technique should also be highly useful for the intracerebral implantation of cells derived from primary cultures or cell lines [Gage and Fisher (1991) Neuron 6, 1-12].


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Lund University
  • Nordstadt Hospital
  • Harvard Medical School

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Neurovetenskaper


Sidor (från-till)57-72
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 1994 nov
Peer review utfördJa