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Health Agencies Update |

Stem Cells Boost Dopamine

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2010;303(24):2464. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.837.
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Transplantation of human endometrial–derived stem cells (HEDSC) into mice with a Parkinson disease-like disorder boosted the animals' dopamine production, according to a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The findings provide preliminary evidence that such transplantation may have therapeutic benefits in Parkinson disease.

In the study, a team of researchers from Yale University first demonstrated that HEDSC could differentiate into dopaminergic neurons in vitro (Wolff EF et al. J Cell Mol Med. 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01068.x [published ahead April 7, 2010). Next, the investigators transplanted HEDSC into both immunodeficient and immunocompetent mice with a Parkinson-like disorder. They found that the transplanted cells survived at the transplant site and also migrated to damaged brain regions and differentiated into neural cells. Both immunodeficient and immunocompetent animals that had undergone such transplants showed no sign of rejecting the transplanted cells and experienced increased dopamine levels.

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