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J Neurosci. 2004 Oct 13;24(41):8924-31.

Intrastriatal transforming growth factor alpha delivery to a model of Parkinson's disease induces proliferation and migration of endogenous adult neural progenitor cells without differentiation into dopaminergic neurons.

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Harvard University and McLean Hospital, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center of Excellence, Belmont, Massachusetts 02478, USA.


We examined the cell proliferative, neurogenic, and behavioral effects of transforming growth factor alpha (TGFalpha) in a 6-OHDA Parkinson's disease model when compared with naive rats. Intrastriatal TGFalpha infusion induced significant proliferation, hyperplastic nodules, and substantial migratory waves of nestin-positive progenitor cells from the adult subventricular zone (SVZ) of dopamine-denervated rats. Interestingly, SVZ cells in naive rats displayed proliferation but minimal migration in response to the TGFalpha infusion. The cells in the expanded SVZ accumulated cytoplasmic beta-catenin, indicating activation of classical Wnt signaling. However, no evidence of any neuronal differentiation was found of these recruited progenitor cells anywhere examined in the brain. Consequently, no evidence of dopaminergic (DA) neurogenesis was found in the striatum or substantia nigra in any experimental group, and amphetamine-induced behavioral rotations did not improve. In summary, the cells in the TGFalpha-induced migratory cellular wave remain undifferentiated and do not differentiate into midbrain-like DA neurons.

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