• dopamine;
  • mesenchymal stem cells;
  • transplantation;
  • tyrosine hydroxylase

MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) derived from the bone marrow have shown to be a promising source of stem cells in a therapeutic strategy of neurodegenerative disorder. Also, MSCs can enhance the TH (tyrosine hydroxylase) expression and DA (dopamine) content in catecholaminergic cells by in vitro co-culture system. In the present study, we investigated the effect of intrastriatal grafts of MSCs on TH protein and gene levels and DA content in adult intact rats. When MSCs were transplanted into the striatum of normal rats, the grafted striatum not only had significantly higher TH protein and mRNA levels, but also significantly higher DA content than the untransplanted striatum. Meanwhile, the grafted MSCs differentiated into neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes; however, TH-positive cells could not be detected in our study. These experimental results offer further evidence that MSCs are a promising candidate for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.