Delayed implantation of nigral grafts improves survival of dopamine neurones and rate of functional recovery

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IN order to test the hypothesis that poor survival of dopaminergic neurones in nigral transplants may be due, at least in part, to acute toxic changes in the host striatum within the first hour after injury, we experimentally evaluated the consequences of imposing a brief delay (20 min, 1 or 3 h) between positioning the injection cannula and extruding the graft tissue. A delay of as little as 1 h resulted in a three-fold increase in survival of dopamine neurones in the grafts and a more rapid abolition of amphetamine-induced rotational asymmetry in the host animals. These results suggest that acute but rapidly resolving changes in the host striatal environment induced by the implantation procedure itself can have a significantly deleterious effect on the survival of embryonic nigral grafts.

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