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Pleiotrophin over-expression provides trophic support to dopaminergic neurons in parkinsonian rats

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Author(s): Taravini Irene | Chertoff Mariela | Cafferata Eduardo | Courty José | Murer Mario | Pitossi Fernando | Gershanik Oscar

Journal: Molecular Neurodegeneration
ISSN 1750-1326

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 40;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Pleiotrophin is known to promote the survival and differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in vitro and is up-regulated in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease patients. To establish whether pleiotrophin has a trophic effect on nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in vivo, we injected a recombinant adenovirus expressing pleiotrophin in the substantia nigra of 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats. Results The viral vector induced pleiotrophin over-expression by astrocytes in the substantia nigra pars compacta, without modifying endogenous neuronal expression. The percentage of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells as well as the area of their projections in the lesioned striatum was higher in pleiotrophin-treated animals than in controls. Conclusions These results indicate that pleiotrophin over-expression partially rescues tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cell bodies and terminals of dopaminergic neurons undergoing 6-hydroxydopamine-induced degeneration.

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