A Subpopulation of Dopaminergic Neurons Coexpresses Serotonin in Ventral Mesencephalic Cultures but not after Intrastriatal Transplantation in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease
Di Santo, Stefano
Widmer, Hans Rudolf
Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/pharmacology
Disease Models, Animal
570 Life sciences
Cell Transplantation, Vol 26 (2017)
Di Santo, S, Seiler, S, Ducray, A, Meyer, M & Widmer, H 2017, ' A subpopulation of dopaminergic neurons co-expresses serotonin in ventral mesencephalic cultures but not after intrastriatal transplantation in a rat model of Parkinsons disease ', Cell Transplantation, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 679-691 . https://doi.org/10.3727/096368916X693707
SAGE Publications, 2017.
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Cell replacement therapy is a promising avenue into the investigation and treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and in some cases significant long-term motor improvements have been demonstrated. The main source of donor tissue is the human fetal ventral mesencephalon (VM), which consists of a mixed neuronal population and its heterogeneity likely contributes to the inconsistent outcome observed in clinical trials. Detailed knowledge about the neuronal subpopulations in the VM seems, hence, essential for successful cell transplantation. Interestingly, it has been reported that some tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons in the VM of adult rats and in cultured midbrain-derived neuroblasts co-express additional neurotransmitters. Thus, the present study investigated by means of co-localization analyses for the possible expression of GABA or serotonin in TH positive neurons. For that purpose both fetal rat and human dissociated, organotypic and neurosphere VM cultures as well as an animal model of PD were investigated. In dissociated rat VM cultures approximately 30% of the TH positive neurons co-expressed serotonin, while no co-localization with GABA was observed. Interestingly, co-expression of TH and serotonin was found to be dependent on the time in culture, the plating density and the exposure to neurotrophic factors, i.e. higher cell densities and treatment with brain-derived neurotrophic factor resulted in a significantly reduced co-expression rate. Notably, even though approximately 30% of the dopaminergic neurons in the donor tissue co-expressed serotonin, no co-localization could be detected in grafts one month after intrastriatal transplantation into hemi-parkinsonian rats. In conclusion, a significant and susceptible sub-population of dopaminergic neurons in fetal VM tissues co-expresses serotonin. This might have potential implications for the future selection and handling of cells prior to transplantation in PD.