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Trends Neurosci. 2011 Mar;34(3):124-33. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2011.01.003.

Rewiring the brain with cell transplantation in Parkinson's disease.

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Institut de Physiologie et Biologie Cellulaires, Université de Poitiers, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 1 rue Georges Bonnet, Poitiers, F-86022, France.


Cell replacement therapy has been proposed as a means to replace lost dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). In most studies, the transplanted cells have been placed within the target site, the striatum, and not within the lesioned site, the substantia nigra, as the adult nigrostriatal pathway was thought to constitute a non-permissive environment for long distance axonal outgrowth of transplanted neuroblasts. Here, we discuss recent findings showing that intranigral transplanted dopaminergic neuroblasts can form axonal projections to the striatum, resulting in increased striatal dopamine levels and ameliorating behavioral deficits in animal models of PD. Such findings have raised new hopes and opened new avenues for cell replacement therapy in patients with PD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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