Further Investigations on the Mechanisms Involved in Intrastriatal Mesencephalic Grafts in the Rat, with Special Reference to Dopamine-Neuropeptide Y Interactions
A number of transplantation studies on an animal model for Parkinson’s disease bearing a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway were carried out since the late 70’s (Björklund and Stenevi, 1979, Perlow et al., 1979). Implanting foetal dopamine (DA) neurons into the striatum of these rats was found to alleviate some Parkinson’s disease like symptoms in the DA deficient recipients. In rats with unilateral lesion, motor impairments such as drug-induced rotational asymmetry were found to be completely abolished after DA grafts, while in more complex conditioned behavior tests, rats remained severely impaired (Björklund et al., 1987). Despite these limitations, human foetal ventral mesencephalic tissue has been implanted into the brain of Parkinsonian patients with variable success. Although there is some ambiguity in the statement that brain grafts can have functional effects, because it contains spontaneously active neurons and releases neurotransmitter, or because it may trigger some adaptive behavioral responses in the host animals, the cellular mechanisms whereby ventral mesencephalic transplants act need to be exactly determined for research on neural transplantation to be able to progress.
KeywordsVentral Mesencephalon Fiber Outgrowth Nigrostriatal Dopaminergic Pathway Adaptive Behavioral Response Host Striatum
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