Organization and histochemical phenotype of human fetal cerebellar cells following transplantation into the cerebellum of nude mice

L. L. Pundt, E. A. Jörn, J. A. Conrad, Walter C Low

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6 Scopus citations


Previous rodent studies have demonstrated the capacity of cerebellar transplants to organize into trilaminar cell layers typically observed in the normal cerebellum. In Purkinje Cell (PC)-deficient animals, PCs will migrate into the host and form synaptic connections. Recently, fetal cerebellar grafts transplanted into the Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mutant mouse were shown to result in an improvement of motor behaviors. These studies indicate the potential therapeutic use of neural transplantation in patients with cerebellar degeneration. In the present study, human fetal cerebellar tissue (8.5 wk postconception) was dissociated and transplanted into the normal cerebellum of nude mice. Six months following transplantation, histological analysis revealed donor cells in recipient mice. Immunostaining for the 28 kDa calcium-binding protein (calbindin) revealed the presence of donor PCs that were organized in discrete cellular layers within the transplant neuropil. In most cases the dendritic processes were oriented in a planar fashion perpendicular to the transplant cell layer. Human neurofilament immunostaining revealed bundles of donor fibers within the core of the transplant and/or at the periphery. These bundles were found to be calbindin positive (PC fibers). Three animals provided evidence of donor PC axon growth ventrally into host white matter, and in one case, this ventral migration reached the deep cerebellar nuclei. Most notable was the development of a pronounced folia-like organization by the implanted cell suspensions. Glial processes within the grafts were aligned perpendicular to the long axis of the transplant folia. These results demonstrate the capacity of human fetal cerebellar cell suspension to reorganize into cell layers typical of the normal cerebellum following transplantation into the rodent cerebellum, and develop an organotypic folia-like organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-489
Number of pages11
JournalCell transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997


  • Calbindin
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Fetal cell
  • Graft
  • Human neurofilament
  • Purkinje cell

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