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Neurosci Lett. 2011 Jan 7;487(2):153-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.10.012. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) enhances recovery in mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

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James Haley Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tampa, FL, USA.



Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is used routinely in clinical practice for the treatment of neutropenia and to increase generation of hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow donors. A growing body of literature on the neurotrophic effects of G-CSF has led to clinical trials in stroke, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD).


The primary objective of this study was to determine if G-CSF administration would rescue the nigro-striatal system and restore locomotor function after completion of a sub-acute course of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) administration (30mg/kg i.p. for 5 days) in 12 month-old mice. A secondary aim was to determine if G-CSF affects the neuro-inflammatory response by modulating microglial activation in striatum and midbrain.


MPTP-treated mice were impaired on the rotometer test after the last dose of the toxicant and remained impaired until euthanasia. MPTP-treated mice that were given an 8-day regimen of G-CSF starting 2 days after the last dose of toxicant enhanced motor performance compared to the MPTP alone group. MPTP treatment depleted striatal DA (DA) levels; G-CSF given after MPTP resulted in a partial, significant repletion of DA levels. Total microglial burden in the striatum was increased significantly in MPTP-treated mice and was reduced after G-CSF rescue.


G-CSF enhances recovery of DA nigro-striatal function from MPTP toxicity in part by modulating the microglial response to injury. The G-CSF receptor may provide a novel target for modifying the disease process in Parkinson's disease.

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