The use of in vitro expanded precursors of the central nervous system (CNS) might overcome some of the current limitations for neural transplantation. Rat midbrain precursors can be proliferated in vitro and differentiated into functional dopaminergic (DA) neurons capable to compensate the motor asymmetry induced by 6-hydroxydopamine in a rat model of Parkinson disease (Studer, et al. Nat Neurosci. 1998;1:290-295). In this model, we have now examined the survival and differentiation of human expanded precursors transplanted into the denervated striatum. Human precursors from the mesencephalon gave rise to TH positive (+) neurons in vitro and in vivo. Six weeks after transplantation, the number of TH + positive neurons in the graft was correlated with the degree of recovery of rotational behavior following amphetamine stimulation. Furthermore, cortical progenitors could also be differentiated into TH + neurons in vitro, and they partly maintained this phenotype after transplantation. These results provide additional basis for future clinical applications of in vitro expanded CNS precursors.
Sánchez-Pernaute R, Studer L, Messam C, Bankiewicz KS, McKay RDG. Transplantation of Human Expanded Progenitors From Midbrain and Neocortex Into a Rat Model of Parkinson Disease. Arch Neurol. 2000;57(8):1239. doi: