Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 289, Issue 2, pp 207–210

GDNF improves survival and reduces apoptosis in human embryonic dopaminergic neurons in vitro

  • Edward D. Clarkson
  • W. Michael Zawada
  • Curt R. Freed

Abstract.

Dopamine cell death is the primary problem limiting the value of neurotransplantation in human patients with Parkinson’s disease. To address this problem, we added glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) to cultures of embryonic dopaminergic neurons obtained from human and from Bonnet monkey (Macaca radiata) in an effort to reduce apoptotic cell death and improve overall cell survival. Tissue from three human embryos, 7–8 weeks post-conception, and one 9-week post-conception monkey embryo were dissociated and cultured in F-12 media with 5% human placental serum. GDNF (10 ng/ml) in human cultures nearly doubled dopamine neuron survival and reduced the rate of apoptosis from 6% to 3%. In monkey cultures, GDNF also enhanced dopamine neuron survival and reduced the apoptotic rate. We conclude that GDNF improves the survival of primate embryonic dopamine neurons in culture by reducing apoptosis.

Key words: Parkinson’s disease Programmed cell death Dopamine Growth factors Neurotransplantation Glia Human Bonnet monkey Macaca radiata (Primates) 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward D. Clarkson
    • 1
  • W. Michael Zawada
    • 1
  • Curt R. Freed
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, C-237, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Denver, CO 80262, USAUS

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