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Lewy body–like pathology in long-term embryonic nigral transplants in Parkinson's disease


Fourteen years after transplantation into the striatum of an individual with Parkinson's disease, grafted nigral neurons were found to have Lewy body–like inclusions that stained positively for α-synuclein and ubiquitin and to have reduced immunostaining for dopamine transporter. These pathological changes suggest that Parkinson's disease is an ongoing process that can affect grafted cells in the striatum in a manner similar to host dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra. These findings have implications for cell-based therapies and for understanding the cause of Parkinson's disease.

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Figure 1: Long-term graft viability in Parkinson's disease.
Figure 2: Parkinson's disease–like pathology in long-term nigral grafts.


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We would like to thank G. Folino for histological assistance.

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Authors and Affiliations



J.H.K. and Y.C. performed the histological analysis. R.A.H. performed the clinical assessments. T.B.F. did brain ascertainment. J.H.K., R.A.H., T.B.F. and C.W.O. wrote the manuscript. C.W.O., T.B.F. and J.H.K. designed the original open label transplant trial. T.B.F. and C.W.O. implemented the original clinical transplant trial.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jeffrey H Kordower.

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Competing interests

J.H.K. is a consultant for Ceregene, Inc., Brainstorm, Inc. and Nupathe, Inc. C.W.O. is a consultant for Ceregene, Inc. These companies could benefit from the results of this study.

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Kordower, J., Chu, Y., Hauser, R. et al. Lewy body–like pathology in long-term embryonic nigral transplants in Parkinson's disease. Nat Med 14, 504–506 (2008).

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