Article

Selective glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor production in adult dopaminergic carotid body cells in situ and after intrastriatal transplantation.

Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Departamento de Fisiología and Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Universidad de Sevilla, 41013 Sevilla, Spain.
Journal of Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 05/2005; 25(16):4091-8. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4312-04.2005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) exerts a notable protective effect on dopaminergic neurons in rodent and primate models of Parkinson's disease (PD). The clinical applicability of this therapy is, however, hampered by the need of a durable and stable GDNF source allowing the safe and continuous delivery of the trophic factor into the brain parenchyma. Intrastriatal carotid body (CB) autografting is a neuroprotective therapy potentially useful in PD. It induces long-term recovery of parkinsonian animals through a trophic effect on nigrostriatal neurons and causes amelioration of symptoms in some PD patients. Moreover, the adult rodent CB has been shown to express GDNF. Here we show, using heterozygous GDNF/lacZ knock-out mice, that unexpectedly CB dopaminergic glomus, or type I, cells are the source of CB GDNF. Among the neural or paraneural cells tested, glomus cells are those that synthesize and release the highest amount of GDNF in the adult rodent (as measured by standard and in situ ELISA). Furthermore, GDNF expression by glomus cells is maintained after intrastriatal grafting and in CB of aged and parkinsonian 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated animals. Thus, glomus cells appear to be prototypical abundant sources of GDNF, ideally suited to be used as biological pumps for the endogenous delivery of trophic factors in PD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

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