Fig. 1 Parkinson’s Disease (illustration)
Fig. 11 Parkinson’s Disease (illustration)
Fig. 12 Parkinson’s Disease with detail (illustration)
Fig. 13 Parkinson’s Disease exploded view (illustration)
Fig. 14 Rats receiving an infusion of TGFα (slides)
Fig. 15 Further characterization of migratory ridge cells (fluorescence immunohistochemistry)

Cross section of the brain illustrating how TGFα acts to repair damage in the brain of patients (and animal models) with Parkinson’s disease.

At the right are the key brain structures involved, including the striatum, the pallidum, the thalamus, and the midbrain dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area. At left the cortical-striatal pallidal-nigral-thalamic-cortical “loop” is shown. In PD, the dopamine neurons degenerate and thus their connection to the striatal neurons is lost. TGFα infused into the striatum, or intranasally, induces the adult stem cells lining the ependymal and subventricular zone adjacent to the striatum to divide (proliferation) in great numbers (hundreds of thousands to millions of new progenitors). They then migrate to the regions of the striatum where they differentiate into neurons that have dopamine markers. The presence of these new dopamine neurons is associated with dramatic improvement in sensorimotor and motor behavior.

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Rats receiving an infusion of TGFα after brain injury to the striatum (cartooned in purple) demonstrate massive proliferation of stem cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ), which migrate in a ridge toward the site of the injury. New cells express markers of differentiating glial cells and neurons.

Adapted from Fallon et al., 2000, 2006

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Further characterization of migratory ridge cells by using fluorescence immunohistochemistry for neuronal markers.

There is dense positive staining for BrdUrd (a), ß-tubulin (b and c), and doublecortin (d and e). Labeling of the same section for DAT (f), and BrdUrd (g) reveals that some neurons are double-labeled for both markers (h). White arrows on f-h point to double-labled neurons*, lateral ventricle.

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