Mechanisms of Action of Substantia Nigra and Adrenal Medulla Grafts

  • William J. Freed
  • Jill B. Becker


Loss of the dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra (SN) and concomitant degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopamine system has been linked to the clinical syndrome of Parkinson’s disease (Bernheimer et al., 1973). Although brain tissue transplantation techniques have now been applied to several experimental models, it is the nigrostriatal system that has been the most extensively studied. Two brain grafting techniques have been found to produce a long-term alleviation of consequences of SN lesions in experimental models of Parkinson’s disease: intracerebral adrenal medulla grafts, and embryonic SN grafts. The two techniques appear to operate through different mechanisms. SN grafts produce dopamine-containing neurites which reinnervate the striatum. Adrenal medulla grafts, on the other hand, do not significantly reinnervate the striatum.


Substantia Nigra Chromaffin Cell Adrenal Medulla Cortical Lesion Corpus Striatum 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Freed
    • 1
  • Jill B. Becker
    • 2
  1. 1.Saint Elizabeths HospitalNational Institute of Mental HealthWashington, D.CUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program Ann ArborThe University of MichiganUSA

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