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Brain Res Bull. 1996;41(3):143-50.

Noninvasive dopamine determination by reversed phase HPLC in the medium of free-floating roller tube cultures of rat fetal ventral mesencephalon: a tool to assess dopaminergic tissue prior to grafting.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Bern, Inselspital, Switzerland.


The low availability of dopamine containing neurons for grafting in Parkinson's disease is a general problem. Free-floating roller tube (FFRT) cultures allow storage of fetal mesencephalic tissue prior to transplantation. Preoperative functional testing permits to select an optimized set of individual cultures for transplantation. Rat fetal ventral mesencephali (E13) were dissected out and divided into four equally sized pieces each and individually prepared as FFRT cultures. After 4, 8, 12, and 16 days in vitro (DIV) the medium of each culture was collected during routine medium change and immediately stabilized. Dopamine was extracted and probes were determined with reversed phase HPLC using electro-chemical detection. After 16 DIV cultures were fixed and cell counts performed in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunostained serial sections. The mean dopamine content +/- SEM In culture conditioned media was at 4 DIV: 21 +/- 2 pg, n = 38; at 8 DIV: 37 +/- 4 pg, n = 40; at 12 DIV: 52 +/- 7 pg, n = 38; and at 16 DIV: 39 +/- 5 pg, n = 38. In all cultures devoid of dopamine after 4 and 8 DIV (12.5%) levels remained below detectability at 12 and 16 DIV. Cultures derived from the rostral mesencephalon showed significantly higher dopamine values than those from the caudal mesencephalon at 12 DIV. The mean number of TH-immunoreactive (-ir) cells/culture +/- SEM after 16 DIV was 556 +/- 51, n = 40. The correlation between TH-ir cell number (CN) and dopamine content of rostrally derived cultures at 16 DIV was: CN = 7.4 (dopamine [pg]) + 248; R = 0.75; n = 19; p < 0.001. No dopamine was present in cultures without TH-ir cells. These results demonstrate that sequential noninvasive screening of dopamine in single cultures is feasible and that the dopamine content is correlated to the number of surviving TH-ir cells. This permits to select cultures rich in dopaminergic neurons for transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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