Conversion of Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Wharton's Jelly to Dopaminergic Neurons In Vitro: Potential Therapeutic Application for Parkinsonism

Authors

  • Yu-Show Fu,

    1. Department of Anatomy, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Yun-Chih Cheng,

    1. Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Maan-Yuh Anya Lin,

    1. Institute of Physiology, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Department of Medicine Research and Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Henrich Cheng,

    1. Center for Neural Regeneration, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Neural Regeneration Laboratory, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    3. Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
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  • Pei-Ming Chu,

    1. Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Shih-Chich Chou,

    1. Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Yang-Hsin Shih,

    1. Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Miau-Hwa Ko,

    1. Department of Anatomy, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
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  • Min-Shan Sung Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
    • 155 Sec. 2, Li-Nung Street, 112, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan. Telephone: 011-886-2-28267254; Fax: 011-886-2-28212884
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Abstract

Human mesenchymal stem cells isolated from Wharton's jelly of the umbilical cord were induced to transform into dopaminergic neurons in vitro through stepwise culturing in neuron-conditioned medium, sonic hedgehog, and FGF8. The success rate was 12.7%, as characterized by positive staining for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting catecholaminergic synthesizing enzyme, and dopamine being released into the culture medium. Transplantation of such cells into the striatum of rats previously made Parkinsonian by unilateral striatal lesioning with the dopaminergic neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine partially corrected the lesion-induced amphetamine-evoked rotation. Viability of the transplanted cells at least 4 months after transplantation was identified by positive TH staining and migration of 1.4 mm both rostrally and caudally. These results suggest that human umbilical mesenchymal stem cells have the potential for treatment of Parkinson's disease.

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