Testing alternatives: the use of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells to slow neurodegeneration in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of anti-Parkinson treatments gradually diminishes owing to the progressive degeneration of the dopaminergic terminals. The research described here investigated the effect of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSC) versus that of an anti-Parkinson drug in a rat model of Parkinsonism. Forty adult rats were divided into four equal groups, each group receiving a different treatment: vehicle, rotenone, rotenone + AD-MSC, or rotenone + carbidopa/levodopa. Behavioral tests were carried out before and at the end of the treatment and specimens harvested from the midbrain were processed for light and electron microscopy. Genetic expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and Nestin mRNA was assessed. Expression of the Lamin-B1 and Vimentin genes was measured, along with plasma levels of Angiopoietin-2 and dopamine. Treatment with rotenone induced pronounced motor deficits, as well as neuronal and glial alterations. The AD-MSC group showed improvements in motor function in the live animals and in the microscopic picture presented by their tissues. The fold change of both genes (GFAP and Nestin) decreased significantly in the AD-MSC and carbidopa/levodopa groups compared to the group with Parkinson’s disease. Plasma levels of Angiopoietin-2 and dopamine were significantly increased after treatment (P < 0.001) compared to levels in the rats with Parkinson’s disease. AD-MSC reduced neuronal degeneration more efficiently than did the anti-Parkinson drug in a rat model of Parkinsonism.
KeywordsPole test Rotarod Substantia nigra Electron microscopy GFAP Nestin fold change
Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells
Substantia nigra pars compacta
Substantia nigra pars reticulate
Glial fibrillary acidic protein
Fluorescence-activated cell sorting
The authors thank Professor Sanaa A. M.Elgayar for her support in electron microscopy processing and examination.
This research received no funding from any funding agencies.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
The study protocol was approved by the Ethical Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University. Assiut, Egypt. Approval reference number; 17300077.
The donors of the adipose tissue from which the MSCs were separated gave written informed consent prior to the study for their use and publication of the data.
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