MATERIALS AND METHODS: We first demonstrated the in vitro differentiation ability of DPSCs towards DA-ergic-like cells before evaluating their neuro-protection/neuro-restoration capacities in MPTP-induced mice. Transplantation via intrathecal was performed with behavioural assessments being evaluated every fortnight. Subsequent analysis investigating their immuno-modulatory behaviour was conducted using neuronal and microglial cell lines.
RESULTS: It was apparent that the behavioural parameters began to improve corresponding to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine transporter (DAT) and dopamine decarboxylase (AADC) immunostaining in SN and striatum as early as 8-week post-transplantation (P < 0·05). About 60% restoration of DA-ergic neurons was observed at SN in MPTP-treated mice after 12-week post-transplantation. Similarly, their ability to reduce toxic effects of MPTP (DNA damages, reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide release) and regulate cytokine levels was distinctly noted (P < 0·05) upon exposure in in vitro model.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that DPSCs may provide a therapeutic benefit in the old-aged PD mice model and may be explored in stem cell-based CRTs especially in geriatric population as an attempt towards 'personalized medicine'.
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