ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder that produces progressive disability despite symptomatic treatment. Several strategies, including stereotaxic brain lesions, deep brain stimulation, transplants of dopamine cells and administration of neurotrophic factors, have been proposed to improve efficacy and to counteract the progression of the disease. We here report the effects of repetitive intracerebral infusion of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and glial-derived neurotrophic factor, up to 1 year, in Cynomolgus monkeys with long standing asymmetric parkinsonism produced by unilateral intracarotid injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). The treatment with neurotrophic factors was initiated when the parkinsonian deficits were stable, 6 months after the administration of MPTP. The evaluation of the response to the neurotrophic factors was performed by blind observers using: clinical scales that measured global motor deficit, motor ability in both hands, apomorphine-induced rotation, determination of the levels of monoamine metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid, and 6-F18-fluoro-l-DOPA (F-DOPA) uptake in the striatum and histology. Both factors, but bFGF more so, improve motor behavior, dopamine metabolism, striatal F-DOPA uptake, and the number of dopamine neurons. The procedure is well tolerated and provides a strong background for efficacy and safety of this treatment in patients with PD.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 07/2002; 8(5):311-23. · 3.80 Impact Factor