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Exp Neurol. 1991 Dec;114(3):343-50.

Co-grafts of embryonic dopamine neurons and adult sciatic nerve into the denervated striatum enhance behavioral and morphological recovery in rats.

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Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York 14642.


We have recently demonstrated that a diffusible factor(s) derived from explanted adult rat sciatic nerve can increase the number and neurite outgrowth of embryonic rat dopamine (DA) neurons in culture. The present study extends this finding to compare DA neuron-sciatic nerve co-grafts to grafts of DA-rich neural tissue alone for behavioral and morphological effects in rats with unilateral nigrostriatal lesions of the DA pathway. Our results indicate that the presence of a co-grafted segment of sciatic nerve increased the likelihood of rapid behavioral recovery and promoted complete recovery mediated by small grafts that yielded only modest behavioral changes in the absence of co-grafted nerve. These behavioral effects were accompanied by a modest increase in survival of grafted tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in the striatum and a more pronounced increase in the area and density of striatal reinnervation provided by grafted DA neurons in co-grafted animals. This evidence supports the view that a diffusible product of explanted peripheral nerve acts as a growth-promoting factor for embryonic DA neurons and that the presence of this factor augments the behavioral efficacy of grafted DA neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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