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J Neurosurg. 2000 May;92(5):863-9.

Enhancement of survival of stored dopaminergic cells and promotion of graft survival by exposure of human fetal nigral tissue to glial cell line--derived neurotrophic factor in patients with Parkinson's disease. Report of two cases and technical considerations.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University and Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


The authors have studied the ability of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) to promote survival of human fetal dopaminergic tissue after a storage period of 6 days and subsequent implantation into the human putamen. The results indicate that GDNF promotes survival of stored dopaminergic cells. Cells stored without GDNF had a 30.1% decrease in survival time compared with those exposed to GDNF. Two patients with Parkinson's disease received bilateral putaminal implants of fetal dopaminergic cells exposed to GDNF for 6 days and showed enhancement of graft survival as assessed by positron emission tomography scanning. A mean increase of 107% in putaminal fluorodopa uptake from baseline values was observed 12 months postgrafting.

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