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Cell Transplant. 2005;14(4):193-202.

Brain transplantation of neural stem cells cotransduced with tyrosine hydroxylase and GTP cyclohydrolase 1 in Parkinsonian rats.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.


Neural stem cells (NSCs) of the central nervous system (CNS) recently have attracted a great deal of interest not only because of their importance in basic research on neural development, but also in terms of their therapeutic potential in neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). To examine if genetically modified NSCs are a suitable source for the cell and gene therapy of PD, an immortalized mouse NSC line, C17.2, was transduced with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene and with GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GTPCH1) gene, which are important enzymes in dopamine biosynthesis. The expression of TH in transduced C17.2-THGC cells was confirmed by RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, and immunocytochemistry, and expression of GTPCH1 by RT-PCR. The level of L-DOPA released by C17.2-THGC cells, as determined by HPLC assay, was 3793 pmol/10(6) cells, which is 760-fold higher than that produced by C17.2-TH cells, indicating that GTPCH1 expression is important for L-DOPA production by transduced C17.2 cells. Following the implantation of C17.2-THGcC NSCs into the striata of parkinsonian rats, a marked improvement in amphetamine-induced turning behavior was observed in parkinsonian rats grafted with C17.2-THGC cells but not in the control rats grafted with C17.2 cells. These results indicate that genetically modified NSCs grafted into the brain of the parkinsonian rats are capable of survival, migration, and neuronal differentiation. Collectively, these results suggest that NSCs have great potential as a source of cells for cell therapy and an effective vehicle for therapeutic gene transfer in Parkinson's disease.

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