Adrenal medullary explants as an efficient tool for pain control: Adhesive biomolecular components are involved in graft function ex vivo

Hélène Duplan, Jean Claude Bès, Mathieu Tafani, Brigitte Sallerin, Jacqueline Sagen, Elie Ohayon, Yves Lazorthes, Jean Tkaczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Adrenal medullary (AM) tissue transplantation into the central nervous system has been reported as a potential source of opioid peptides and catecholamines, which have analgesic effects useful in the control of chronic pain. Clinical trials, involving allogeneic graft of whole tissue explants into the subarachnoid space of the lumbar spinal cord, have already been reported. The aim of the present study was to determine whether adhesion and function of AM explants were related in some extent and how this relationship could account for improvement of AM tissue in terms of analgesic activity before grafting. Our experiments demonstrated a significant correlation between the adherent state of AM organoids during culture and a sustained secretion of Met-enkephalin and catecholamines by chromaffin cells (CC). These findings suggest that optimal culture condition for AM organoid adhesion can be defined for maintenance of tissue, prior to transplantation. Using immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, and ELISA assays we showed that different cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) and extracellular matrix ECM proteins were expressed and released by AM cells during culture. Adherent AM organoids expressed increased levels of specific neural CAMs (NCAM and HNK-1 epitope) and integrin chains (β1, α1, α2, α4, α5) and deposited markedly higher levels of fibronectin, but also laminin and collagen IV. Those molecules and probably adhesion processes they control might be involved in the maintenance of the CC-secreting neuroendocrine phenotype through cellular signaling pathways. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-347
Number of pages17
JournalExperimental neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • Adrenal medulla transplants
  • Cancer pain
  • Catecholamines
  • Cell adhesion molecule
  • Extracellular matrix proteins
  • Neuroendocrine phenotype
  • Opioid peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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