Neuroprotection in the rat Parkinson model by intrastriatal GDNF gene transfer using a lentiviral vector.
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We used a recombinant lentiviral vector (rLV) for gene delivery of GDNF to the striatum, and assessed its neuroprotective effects in the intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion model.The level of GDNF expression obtained with the rLV-GDNF vector was dose-related and ranged between 0.9-9.3 ng/mg tissue in the transduced striatum, as determined by ELISA, and 0.2-3.0 ng/mg tissue were detected in the ipsilateral substantia nigra (SN), due to anterograde transport of the GDNF protein. GDNF expression was apparent at 4 days and maintained for > 8 months after injection. Striatal delivery of rLV-GDNF efficiently protected the nigral dopamine (DA) neurons and their projection, against the 6-OHDA lesion (65-77% of intact side). Sprouting of the lesioned axons was observed along the nigrostriatal pathway, precisely corresponding to the areas containing anterogradely transported GDNF.