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J Neurosurg. 1988 Jun;68(6):955-9.

Autotransplantation of the superior cervical ganglion into the brain. A possible therapy for Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, Wakayama Medical College, Japan.


The superior cervical ganglion (SCG) of rats was transplanted into their own parietal cortex. Four weeks after implantation, catecholamine histofluorescence revealed many transplanted catecholamine cells in the cortex. However, no fibers extended from the transplanted tissue to the cerebral cortex. In a second group of rats which had been pretreated with 6-hydroxydopamine (a specific neurotoxin to the catecholamine neuron), some showed extension of catecholamine fibers to the cerebral cortex. To simulate an animal model of Parkinson's disease, MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridine) was administered to five monkeys. Two weeks after MPTP administration, dopamine terminals in the caudate nucleus disappeared. After autotransplantation of the SCG into the caudate nucleus of these monkeys, many of the transplanted SCG cells extended axons beyond the graft into the caudate nucleus. These results show that transplanted SCG cells survived well in the brain. Under special circumstances, such as a shortage of catecholamine in the brain, implanted SCG cells extended their axons into the brain. It is suggested that autotransplantation of SCG grafts may be a new therapy for Parkinson's disease.

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