Neurotropic growth factors and glycosaminoglycan based matrices to induce dopaminergic tissue formation.

PMID 26222283


Current cell replacement therapies in Parkinson's disease (PD) are limited by low survival of transplanted cell and lacking regeneration of neuronal circuitries. Therefore, bioartificial cell carriers and growth/differentiation factors are applied to improve the integration of transplants and maximize newly generated and/or residual dopaminergic function. In this work, biohybrid poly(ethylene glycol) (starPEG)-heparin hydrogels releasing fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) and glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) were used to trigger dopaminergic tissue formation by primary murine midbrain cells inxa0vitro. Matrix-delivered FGF-2 enhanced cell viability while release of GDNF had a pro-neuronal/dopaminergic effect. Combined delivery of both factors from the glycosaminoglycan-based matrices resulted in a tremendous improvement in survival and maturation capacity of dopaminergic neurons as obvious from tyrosine hydroxylase expression and neurite outgrowth. The reported data demonstrate that glycosaminoglycan-based hydrogels can facilitate the administration of neurotrophic factors and are therefore instrumental in potential future treatments of PD.