Astrocyte delivery of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.Exp Neurol. 2002 Apr; 174(2):230-42.EN
Primary astrocytes were genetically modified ex vivo to express recombinant glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and subsequently were tested for their ability to provide neuroprotection to dopaminergic neurons in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) mouse model of Parkinson's disease. A replication-defective retrovirus was constructed, which contained the rat GDNF sequence and a sequence encoding a beta-galactosidase (beta-gal)/neomycin phosphotransferase fusion protein, linked via an internal ribosomal entry site. Murine astrocytes transduced with this vector secreted GDNF into the culture media at the rate of 115 +/- 34 pg/24 h/10(5) cells and expressed cytoplasmic beta-gal, whereas control nontransduced astrocytes were negative for GDNF production and cytoplasmic beta-gal expression. Mice that received implants of GDNF-producing astrocytes into the striatum or nigra displayed elevated levels of GDNF compared to mice that received control nontransduced astrocytes. In addition, tissue content of GDNF was increased bilaterally and in brain regions both proximal and distal to the graft, even though astrocyte migration away from the graft site did not occur. Importantly, GDNF-producing astrocytes provided marked neuroprotection of nigral dopaminergic perikarya, and partial protection of striatal dopaminergic fibers, when implanted into the midbrain 6 days prior to a retrograde 6-OHDA lesion, as assessed by tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry. Similarly, GDNF-producing astrocytes prevented the acquisition of amphetamine-induced rotational behavior in 6-OHDA-treated mice and completely prevented dopamine depletion within the substantia nigra, as assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography. These results indicate that continuous exposure to low levels of GDNF provided by transgenic astrocytes provides marked neuroprotection of nigral dopaminergic neurons. (c)2002 Elsevier Science (USA).