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Intracerebral grafting of neuronal cell suspensions. VIII. Survival and growth of implants of nigral and septal cell suspensions in intact brains of aged rats.


Neuronal cell suspensions prepared from the ventral mesencephalon and the septal-diagonal band area of rat embryos were implanted into the depth of the intact neostriatum or hippocampus of 21-23 month old female rats. Graft survival, assessed 3-4 months after grafting, was comparable to that seen in our previous studies of young adult recipients. Fibre outgrowth into the host brain was evaluated in animals which were subjected to lesions of the intrinsic nigrostriatal or septohippocampal system 6-10 days before killing. Dense dopamine fibre outgrowth was seen within a zone of up to about 1 mm radius around the nigral implants, and dense growth of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) positive fibres occurred up to about 2 mm away from the septal implants. The overall magnitude of fibre outgrowth was less than that generally seen in previously denervated targets in young adult recipients, but it appeared to be as extensive as in young recipients when the grafts are placed in non-denervated targets. The distribution of the AChE-positive fibres from the septal implants in the host hippocampus suggested that the pattern found in the non-denervated target of the aged recipients was more diffuse, and partly different, from normal, and that age-dependent synapse loss in intrinsic connections may influence the patterning of the graft-derived innervation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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