Survival and integration of bovine chromaffin cells transplanted into rat central nervous system without exogenous trophic factors

John D. Ortega, Jacqueline Sagen, George D. Pappas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Our previous studies have demonstrated that suspension grafts of isolated bovine chromaffin cells survive in the periaqueductal gray (PAG) of rat midbrain for up to 1 year after transplantation. The current study aimed to determine whether this type of graft could survive transplantation into sites other than the PAG that can benefit from chromaffin cell secretory products. In this study, electron microscope analysis showed that chromaffin cells implanted into the frontal neocortex, striatum, PAG, or the subarachnoid space overlying the spinal cord survived for at least 8 weeks without evidence of degeneration. Intraparenchymally placed grafts appeared relatively avascular and well integrated within the host parenchyma. When blood vessels were found, they were primarily at the host-graft border and were of the nonfenestrated central nervous system (CNS) type. Numerous synapses were present between the grafted cells and host neuronal processes. In addition, extensive intercommunication, via gap junction-like structures, was common in the grafts. Morphologic evidence of granular secretion was most commonly seen in striatal grafts. In contrast, subarachnoid grafts displayed minimal interaction with the host spinal tissue and were heavily vascularized with fenestrated capillaries. Despite morphologic differences between intra- and extraparenchymal grafts, this study demonstrates that isolated suspensions of bovine chromaffin cells survive transplantation into CNS sites without exogenous trophic factors and suggests that these cells are potential candidates for neural transplantation into these regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • adrenal medulla
  • neural transplants
  • periaqueductal gray
  • striatum
  • xenograft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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