A major obstacle in neural transplantation is a severe loss of neurons in grafts soon after implantation. In the present study, we have investigated whether the systemic administration of synthetic fibronectin peptide V can increase the survival of neural grafts. Synthetic fibronectin peptide V is derived from the 33,000 mol. wt carboxyl-terminal heparin-binding domain of fibronectin. Previous studies have shown that these polypeptides possess anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is currently unknown whether this peptide has anti-apoptotic properties. Dissociated neural grafts were prepared from the ventral mesencephalon of pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats and were stereotaxically injected as a cell suspension into the striatum of adult Sprague-Dawley rats. A group of recipient rats received i.v. injections of peptide V (5mg/kg, dissolved in saline) at 24 and 4h prior to transplantation, at the time of transplantation, and 24, 48 and 72h post-transplantation. Saline-treated rats served as controls. The rats were killed at two, four and 42 days post-grafting and the brain tissue was immunologically processed for tyrosine-hydroxylase, major histocompatibility complex class I and class II antigens, complement receptor type 3 and leukocyte common antigen immunocytochemistry, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling assay. We found a significant increase (approximately twofold) in the number of dopamine neurons in the grafts for the peptide-treated group at four and 42 days compared with the controls. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the patterns of inflammation using different immunocytochemical markers in the two different groups. The levels of expression for these markers, however, were reduced over time. Interestingly, the number of apoptotic cells in the graft areas was significantly smaller in the peptide-treated group than in the control group two days after grafting.The results demonstrate that the systemic administration of synthetic fibronectin peptide V can dramatically increase the survival of nigral grafts in the brain and substantially reduce the number of apoptotic cells in the graft site, suggesting that this peptide may exert a beneficial effect on survival of nigral grafts through an anti-apoptotic mechanism. Copyright (C) 2000 IBRO.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported in part by PHS R01-NS24464, the Lyle French Fund, the Supporters United for Parkinsons Education and Research (Super) Fund, and the Ben and Beryl Miller fund.
- Neural transplantation
- Parkinson's disease