This chapter discusses the suitability of the l-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridin (MPTP)-treated mouse as a rodent model for grafting in Parkinson's disease, after the adult mouse adrenal medulla is grafted into the striatum of MPTP-treated mice. The chapter also describes the effects of these homografts were studied by following catecholaminergic phenotypic markers in the host brain, and in the graft itself. As adrenal medullary cells synthesize dopamine and have the potential for growing neuronal-like processes when placed in vitro and in oculo, they are considered possible replacements for dopamine neurons, which are lost in Parkinson's disease. However, studies of grafted adrenal cells in rodent models of Parkinson's disease suggest that these cells survive poorly after grafting to the brain, although survival is improved by nerve growth factor. Thus, the mechanisms responsible for the dramatic recovery of dopaminergic fibers in the striatum, and the source of cells elaborating these processes remain to be elucidated.
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