Behaviorial Performance Improves After Fetal Substantia Nigra Transplant in Bonnet Monkeys with MPTP Induced Parkinsonism

  • C. R. Freed
  • J. B. Richards
  • M. L. Reite


Nearly 10 years have elapsed since the first reports in rats that transplantation of fetal dopamine neurons have an influence on motor behavior in animals with a unilateral lesion of the nigrostriatal tract (Bjorklund and Stenevi, 1979; Perlow et al., 1979). These experiments were important in establishing several basic principles for brain transplantation. First it is a good experimental model. The unilaterally lesioned rat which circles in response to amphetamine or apomorphine as described by Anden et al. (1966) and Ungerstedt (1969) has been useful for studying transplant effects. Second was the discovery that only fetal tissue of a narrow developmental range was useful for transplant. Only the dopamine cells from ventral mesencephalon of fetal rat embryonic day 13 to 15 could successfully reinnervate dopamine denervated striatum. In this animal model, the transplants produced changes in circling behavior within three to six weeks of transplant (Bjorklund and Stenevi, 1979; Perlow et al., 1979; Dunnett et al, 1984). With amphetamine treatment, animals which formerly circled ipsilateral to the side of the dopamine denervation lesion may show a reversal in their circling direction to circle contralateral to the initial lesion. Successful transplants have dopamine cells which survive along the transplant track. In addition, dopamine concentration increases from near total depletion to about 10% of the normal intrinsic dopamine concentration (Schmidt et al., 1984).


Parkinsonian Syndrome Crown Rump Length Ventral Mesencephalon Spontaneous Improvement Behavioral Improvement 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. R. Freed
    • 1
  • J. B. Richards
    • 1
  • M. L. Reite
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology, and PsychiatryUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA

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