Navigation Links
New study shows that fetal cells to treat Parkinson's disease may not function long term

Neurons grafted into the brain of a patient with Parkinsons disease fourteen years ago have developed Lewy body pathology, the defining pathology for the disease, according to research by Jeffrey H. Kordower, PhD, and associates and published in the April 6 issue of Nature Medicine.

The finding suggest that Parkinsons disease is an ongoing process that can affect cells grafted into the brain in the same way the disease affects host dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain, according to Kordower, who is the lead author of the study and a neuroscientist at Rush University Medical Center.

These findings give us a bit of pause for the value of cell replacement strategy for Parkinsons disease, said Kordower. We still need to vigorously investigate this approach among the full armament of surgically-delivered Parkinsons disease therapies. While it is not clear to us whether the same fate would befall stem cell grafts, the next generation of cell replacement procedures, this study does suggest that grafted cells can be affected by the disease process.

The collaborative research study described in the article involves Rush, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and the University of South Florida, Tampa, In it, individuals with Parkinsons disease received fetal cell transplants to reverse the loss in the brain of striatal dopamine.

The individual described in this article was a woman with a 22-year history of Parkinsons disease who underwent transplantation in 1993. After transplantation she experienced improvements in disease symptoms as measured by the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and required substantially lower doses of antiparkinsonian medications. Her UPDRS scores remained improved into1997, but by 2004, she experienced progressive worsening of Parkinsons disease symptoms. She died in 2007 and her brain and that of two other patients in the study were comprehensively processed and analyzed. She had the longest survival after transplantation that had been reported to date among this studys participants.

Double-blind, sham-controlled studies that followed did not establish clinical benefit although significant improvement was observed in a subpopulation of patients. Post mortem studies of individuals in these studies showed a robust survival of grafted neurons, suggesting that the cells were not affected by Parkinsons disease as Kordower explains Because Parkinsons disease pathology progresses over decades, we think that the individuals did not live long enough for the Parkinsons disease pathology to develop in the grafted cells.

Scientists have long debated whether Parkinsons disease results from an acute insult or event, or whether it is an ongoing pathological process that continues to affect healthy neurons, according to Kordower. This research indicates that mechanisms and molecules responsible for initiating the degenerative process are still present at a late stage and are capable of affecting grafted neurons. In addition, the processes that destroy dopamine neurons are not restricted to the midbrain.

The findings also suggest that there may be either a pathogenic factor in the brain that affects dopamine producing neurons or a pathological process that can spread from one cellular system to another, said Kordower. These findings have striking implications for understanding what causes PD and the potential for cell replacement strategies to reverse the motor symptoms.


Contact: Mary Ann Schultz
Rush University Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. Yale study shows how rare genes have big impact on blood pressure
2. NASA launches airborne study of arctic atmosphere, air pollution
3. Some migratory birds cant find success in urban areas, study finds
4. Study finds concerns with biofuels
5. Veterinary college researcher studying brain tumors in people and animals
6. Statistics are insufficient for study of proteins signal system
7. Bear spray a viable alternative to guns for deterring bears, BYU study shows
8. Multi-institutional study identifies new form of inherited risk of cancer
9. Exposure to low levels of radon appears to reduce the risk of lung cancer, new study finds
10. Study finds pitching mound height affects throwing motion, injury risk
11. First study hints at insights to come from genes unique to humans
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted to ... of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share rose ... was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to exceed ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... Florida , March 31, 2016 ... ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange ... potential users of its soon to be launched online ... ( ) will also provide potential ... use of DNA technology to an industry that is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... offering new biological discoveries to the medical community, has ... and co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We ... provide us with the capital we need to meet ... funding will essentially provide us the runway to complete ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features ... will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the development ... laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential ... for many early stage organizations - access to laboratory ... Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced the ... to their offering. The ... $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is expected to grow at ... to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in 2015 to $96.6 billion ... the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are discussed. As well, new ...
Breaking Biology Technology: