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Neurobiol Dis. 2011 Sep;43(3):576-87. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2011.05.004. Epub 2011 May 13.

Impact of dopamine to serotonin cell ratio in transplants on behavioral recovery and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital Freiburg, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.


Fetal dopamine (DA) cell transplantation has shown to be efficient in reversing behavioral impairments associated with Parkinson's disease. However, the beneficial effects on motor behavior and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia have varied greatly in between clinical trials and patients within the same trial. Recently, the inclusion of serotonin (5-HT) neurons in the grafted tissue has been suggested to play an important negative role, in particular, on the effect of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. In the present study we have evaluated the influence of different ratios of DA neurons in relation to 5-HT neurons in the graft on spontaneous motor behavior and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. We show that using the standard dissection method that gives rise to a DA:5-HT ratio in the graft of 2:1 to 1:2 there is significant and consistent improvement in spontaneous motor behavior and reversal of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Increasing the ratio of 5-HT neurons in the graft, to a DA:5-HT ratio of in between 1:3 and 1:10, still induces significant reduction of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia, suggesting that the detrimental effect of 5-HT neurons on L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia is prevented even by small numbers of DA neurons in the graft. Nonetheless, while the post-synaptic responses were normalized following peripheral L-DOPA delivery in animals with low DA:5-HT ratio, we observed a pharmacological indication of hyperactive pre-synaptic response in these animals. These data suggests that 5-HT cells within a graft are neither detrimental nor beneficial for functional effects of DA-rich transplants; however, in absence of sufficient numbers of DA neurons, the 5-HT neurons may induce negative effects following L-DOPA therapy. In summary, our data indicate that for future clinical trials the inclusion of 5-HT neurons in grafted tissue is not critical as long as there are sufficient numbers of DA cells in the graft.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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