Parkinson's disease is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Attempted replacement of these neurons by stem cells has proved inconclusive. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are multipotent, differentiating into a variety of cells, including neuron-like cells. We used the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) animal model of Parkinson's disease to assess migration and differentiation of transplanted MSC. We found in rodents that transplanted MSC survive better in the 6-OHDA-induced damaged hemisphere compared to the unlesioned side. Moreover, contralaterally engrafted MSC migrated through the corpus callosum to populate the striatum, thalamic nuclei and substantia nigra of the 6-OHDA-lesioned hemisphere. In conclusion, we demonstrate that 6-OHDA-induced damage increases the viability of transplanted MSC and attracts these cells from the opposite hemisphere.
- Bone marrow stem cells
- Parkinson's disease