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Dopamine neurons implanted into people with Parkinson's disease survive without pathology for 14 years


Postmortem analysis of five subjects with Parkinson's disease 9–14 years after transplantation of fetal midbrain cell suspensions revealed surviving grafts that included dopamine and serotonin neurons without pathology. These findings are important for the understanding of the etiopathogenesis of midbrain dopamine neuron degeneration and future use of cell replacement therapies.

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Figure 1: Ventral midbrain cells transplanted as cell suspensions in the putamina of people with Parkinson's disease survive for up to 14 years and show immunoreactivity for dopaminergic and serotoninergic markers.
Figure 2: Transplanted dopamine neurons in people with Parkinson's disease do not contain Lewy bodies.

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This work was supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (I.M.), US National Institutes of Health NINDS Parkinson's Disease Research Center of Excellence (P50 NS 39793 to O.I. and NS 053488 to J.Q.T.), The Michael Stern Foundation (O.I.), The Consolidated Anti-Aging Foundation (O.I.), The Orchard Foundation (O.I.) and the Harold and Ronna Cooper Family (O.I.). Fellowship support to K.M. was provided by the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation and Parkinson Society Canada. We also thank O. Cooper for evaluation of tissue sections from study subjects.

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I.M. and A.V. designed research, performed research, analyzed data and wrote the paper. A.A. and P.H. performed research, analyzed data and wrote the paper. K.M. analyzed data and wrote the paper. H.R., T.T., R.H. and A.D. performed research and analyzed data. J.Q.T. performed neuropathology staining, analyzed raw data, evaluated and interpreted data and wrote the paper. O.I. designed research, performed research, analyzed raw data, evaluated and interpreted data and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Ole Isacson.

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Supplementary Tables 1 and 2, Supplementary Fig. 1, Supplementary Methods and Supplementary Results (PDF 387 kb)

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Mendez, I., Viñuela, A., Astradsson, A. et al. Dopamine neurons implanted into people with Parkinson's disease survive without pathology for 14 years. Nat Med 14, 507–509 (2008).

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