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Cell graft still releasing dopamine in Parkinson's patient after 10 years.

A graft of embryonic nigral cells has survived and continues to release dopamine 10 years after implantation into the brain of a man with Parkinson's disease, researchers report in the November 22 issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Paola Piccini, PhD, of the Imperial College School of Medicine in London, UK, used the binding of a dopamine receptor antagonist and positron-emission tomography (PET) to measure synaptic dopamine release from the nigral graft in the 69-year-old patient. Five healthy subjects were used as controls. All measurements on the grafted side, of the patient's brain, but not on the nongrafted side, were comparable to the control subjects. In addition, there were no signs of graft rejection, even though the patient had not received any immunosuppressive therapy for 4.5 years.

"This is the first report to demonstrate in vivo that grafts of fetal human midbrain tissue not only store dopamine but can release it in a physiologic manner," said Piccini and colleagues. The authors also said that the long-term stability of the grafted neurons suggested that Parkinson's disease is not caused by an endogenous neurotoxin but by an intrinsic deficit in nigral dopaminergic neurons.

"Our intention now is to explore other sources of dopaminergic tissue," the researchers wrote. "Success in this area should make transplantation available to a far wider population of Parkinson's disease patients."
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Comment:Cell graft still releasing dopamine in Parkinson's patient after 10 years.
Publication:Transplant News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 10, 1999
Words:221
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