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Mol Neurodegener. 2011 Jun 7;6:40. doi: 10.1186/1750-1326-6-40.

Pleiotrophin over-expression provides trophic support to dopaminergic neurons in parkinsonian rats.

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Laboratorio de Parkinson Experimental, Instituto de Investigaciones Farmacológicas (ININFA-CONICET-UBA), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Pleiotrophin is known to promote the survival and differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in vitro and is up-regulated in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease patients. To establish whether pleiotrophin has a trophic effect on nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in vivo, we injected a recombinant adenovirus expressing pleiotrophin in the substantia nigra of 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats.


The viral vector induced pleiotrophin over-expression by astrocytes in the substantia nigra pars compacta, without modifying endogenous neuronal expression. The percentage of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells as well as the area of their projections in the lesioned striatum was higher in pleiotrophin-treated animals than in controls.


These results indicate that pleiotrophin over-expression partially rescues tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cell bodies and terminals of dopaminergic neurons undergoing 6-hydroxydopamine-induced degeneration.

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