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Collazo-Navarrete, Omar; Hernandez-Garcia, David; Guerrero-Flores, Gilda; Drucker-Colin, Rene; Guerra-Crespo, Magdalena; Covarrubias, Luis (2019)

THE SUBSTANTIA NIGRA IS PERMISSIVE AND GAINS INDUCTIVE SIGNALS WHEN LESIONED FOR DOPAMINERGIC DIFFERENTIATION OF EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS

Stem Cells Dev. ():
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Transplantation of dopaminergic (DA) cells into the striatum can rescue from dopamine deficiency in a Parkinson's disease condition, but this is not a suitable procedure for regaining the full control of motor activity. The minimal condition toward recovering the nigrostriatal pathway is the proper innervation of transplanted DA neurons or their precursors from the substancia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) to their target areas. However, functional integration of transplanted cells would require first that the host SNpc is suitable for their survival and/or differentiation. We recently reported that the intact adult SNpc holds a strong neurogenic environment, but primed embryonic stem cells (ie, embryoid body cells, EBCs) could not derive into DA neurons. In this study, we transplanted into the intact or lesioned SNpc, EBCs derived from embryonic stem cells that were prompt to differentiate into DA neurons by the forced expression of in neural precursor cells (R1B5/NesE-Lmx1a). We observed that, 6 days posttransplantation (dpt), R1B5 or R1B5/NesE-Lmx1a EBCs gave rise to Nes and Dcx cells within the host SNpc, but a large number of Th cells derived only from EBCs exogenously expressing . In contrast, when transplantation was carried out into the 6-hydroxidopamine-lesioned SNpc, the emergence of Th cells from EBCs was independent of exogenous expression, although these cells were not found by 15 dpt. These results suggest that the adult SNpc is not only a permissive niche for initiation of DA differentiation of non-neuralized cells but also releases factors upon damage that promote the acquisition of DA characteristics by transplanted EBCs.