Aged rats: recovery of motor impairments by intrastriatal nigral grafts

Science  02 Sep 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4614, pp. 966-969
DOI: 10.1126/science.6879196


Dissociated cell suspensions, prepared from the substantia nigra and septal regions of rat embryos, can be grafted to the depths of the caudate-putamen and hippocampus of aged rats. The grafts were rich in dopamine-containing and acetylcholinesterase-positive neurons and had produced extensive new dopaminergic and cholinergic terminal networks in the host neostriatum and hippocampus, respectively. The intrastriatal dopaminergic grafts were associated with a significant improvement in motor coordination in the aged rats. This result suggests that the intracerebral grafting technique may provide a new tool for exploring the role of dopaminergic and cholinergic deficits in the neurological and behavioral impairments associated with aging.