Embryonic stem cells in rat Parkinson’s disease model.

Cell Reprogram. 2010 Aug; 12(4) : 447-61.
Directed differentiation into neural lineages and therapeutic potential of porcine embryonic stem cells in rat Parkinson’s disease model.

Yang JR, Liao CH, Pang CY, Huang LL, Lin YT, Chen YL, Shiue YL, Chen LR.
Division of Physiology, Livestock Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Tainan, Taiwan, ROC.

This study was conducted to direct porcine embryonic stem (pES) cells differentiating into neural lineages and to investigate therapeutic potential of GFP-expressing pES (pES/GFP(+)) in the rat model of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Directed differentiation of pES into neural lineages was induced by suspension culture in medium containing RA, SHH, and FGF combinations without going through embryoid body formation. A high yield of nestin-expressing neural precursors was found in all treatments on day 2 after the 12-day induction. On day 6 after replating, more than 86.2 and 83.4% of the differentiated cells stained positively for NFL and MAP2, respectively. The expression of TH, ChAT, and GABA specific markers were also observed in these NFL-positive neural cells. The undifferentiated pES/GFP(+) cells and their neuronal differentiation derivatives were transplanted into the Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat’s brain, and their survival and development was determined by using live animal fluorescence optical imaging system every 15 days. The results showed that fluorescent signals from the injection site of SD rats’ brain could be detected through the experimental period of 3 months. The level of fluorescent signal detected in the treatment group was twofold that of the control group. The results of behavior analysis showed that PD rats exhibited stably decreased asymmetric rotations after transplantation with pES/GFP(+)-derived D18 neuronal progenitors. The dopaminergic differentiation of grafted cells in the brain was further confirmed by immunohistochemical staining with anti-TH, anti-DA, and anti-DAT antibodies. These results suggested that the differentiation approach we developed would direct pES cells to differentiate into neural lineages and benefit the development of novel therapeutics involving stem cell transplantation.

PMID: 20698783 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]