Transplantation of microencapsulated bovine chromaffin cells reduces lesion-induced rotational asymmetry in rats

P. Aebischer, P. A. Tresco, J. Sagen, S. R. Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Surrounding bovine chromaffin cells by a semipermeable membrane may protect the transplanted cells from a host immune response and shield them from the inflammatory process resulting from the surgical trauma. Encapsulation of the chromaffin cells was achieved by inter-facial adsorption of a polycation on a polyanionic colloid matrix in which the chromaffin cells were entrapped. Basal and potassium-evoked release of catecholamines from encapsulated bovine chromaffin cells was analyzed over a 4-week period in vitro. Norepinephrine and dopamine release remained constant over time whereas epinephrine release significantly decreased. The chromaffin cells also retained the capacity for depolarization-elicited catecholamine release 4 weeks following the encapsulation procedure. Morphological analysis revealed the presence of intact chromaffin cells with well-preserved secretory granules. Striatial implantation of chromaffin cell-loaded capsules significantly reduced apomorphine-induced rotation compared to empty polymer capsules in animals lesioned with 6-hydroxydopamne frr at least 4 weeks. Intact chromaffin cells expressing tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine-β-hydroxylase were observed in all capsules implanted in the striatum for 4 weeks. The assessment of the clinical potential of transplanting encapsulated adrenal chromaffin cells of either allo- or xenogeneic origin for Parkinson's disease will require long-term behavioral studies. The present study suggests, however, that the polymer encapsulation procedure may offer an alternative to adrenal autografts as a source of dopaminergic tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 27 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • 6-Hydroxydopamine
  • Apomorphine
  • Chromaffin cell
  • Encapsulation
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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