Continuous High-Frequency Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus Improves Cell Survival and Functional Recovery Following Dopaminergic Cell Transplantation in Rodents

Luciano L. Furlanetti, Joacir Graciolli Cordeiro, Karina Kohn Cordeiro, Joanna A. García, Christian Winkler, Guilherme A. Lepski, Volker A. Coenen, Guido Nikkhah, Máté D. Döbrössy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Subthalamic nucleus (STN) high-frequency stimulation (HFS) is a routine treatment in Parkinson's disease (PD), with confirmed long-term benefits. An alternative, but still experimental, treatment is cell replacement and restorative therapy based on transplanted dopaminergic neurons. The current experiment evaluated the potential synergy between neuromodulation and grafting by studying the effect of continuous STN-HFS on the survival, integration, and functional efficacy of ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic precursors transplanted into a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine medial forebrain bundle lesioned rodent PD model. One group received continuous HFS of the ipsilateral STN starting a week prior to intrastriatal dopaminergic neuron transplantation, whereas the sham-stimulated group did not receive STN-HFS but only dopaminergic grafts. A control group was neither lesioned nor transplanted. Over the following 7 weeks, the animals were probed on a series of behavioral tasks to evaluate possible graft and/or stimulation-induced functional effects. Behavioral and histological data suggest that STN-HFS significantly increased graft cell survival, graft-host integration, and functional recovery. These findings might open an unexplored road toward combining neuromodulative and neuroregenerative strategies to treat severe neurologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1012
Number of pages12
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Volume29
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 6-hydroxydopamine
  • Parkinson's disease
  • cell therapy
  • deep brain stimulation
  • subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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