Background: Pleiotrophin is known to promote the survival and differentiation of dopaminergic neurons in vitro and is up-regulated in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease patients. To establish whether pleiotrophin has a trophic effect on nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in vivo, we injected a recombinant adenovirus expressing pleiotrophin in the substantia nigra of 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats. Results: The viral vector induced pleiotrophin over-expression by astrocytes in the substantia nigra pars compacta, without modifying endogenous neuronal expression. The percentage of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells as well as the area of their projections in the lesioned striatum was higher in pleiotrophin-treated animals than in controls. Conclusions: These results indicate that pleiotrophin over-expression partially rescues tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cell bodies and terminals of dopaminergic neurons undergoing 6-hydroxydopamine- induced degeneration. © 2011 Taravini et al.
Taravini, I. R., Chertoff, M., Cafferata, E. G., Courty, J., Murer, M. G., Pitossi, F. J., & Gershanik, O. S. (2011). Pleiotrophin over-expression provides trophic support to dopaminergic neurons in parkinsonian rats. Molecular Neurodegeneration, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1750-1326-6-40