Neurotoxicology and teratology

An enteric nervous system progenitor cell implant promotes a behavioral and neurochemical improvement in rats with a 6-OHDA-induced lesion.

PMID 24686028


The enteric nervous system (ENS) of mammals is derived from neural crest (NC) cells during embryogenesis and at the beginning of postnatal life. However, neural progenitor cells from the ENS (or ENSPC) are also found in the adult intestine and can be used for neuronal regeneration in diseases that lead to a loss of cell population, such as Parkinson's disease (PD), in which there is a decrease of dopaminergic neurons. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of ENSPC to restore damaged nervous tissue and to show that they are functional for a behavioral and neurochemical recovery. We found that animals with ENSPC implants exhibited a motor recovery of 35% vs. the lesion group. In addition, DA levels were partially restored in 34%, while Homovanillic acid (HVA) levels remained at 21% vs. the group with a 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced lesion, suggesting that ENSPC represent a possible alternative in the study of cell transplants and the preservation of functional dopaminergic neurons in PD.