Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. ES cells are currently the most promising donor cell source for cell-replacement therapy in PD. We previously described a strong neuralizing activity present on the surface of stromal cells, named stromal cell–derived inducing activity (SDIA). In this study, we generated neurospheres composed of neural progenitors from monkey ES cells, which are capable of producing large numbers of DA neurons. We demonstrated that FGF20, preferentially expressed in the substantia nigra, acts synergistically with FGF2 to increase the number of DA neurons in ES cell–derived neurospheres. We also analyzed the effect of transplantation of DA neurons generated from monkey ES cells into 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine–treated (MPTP-treated) monkeys, a primate model for PD. Behavioral studies and functional imaging revealed that the transplanted cells functioned as DA neurons and attenuated MPTP-induced neurological symptoms.
Yasushi Takagi, Jun Takahashi, Hidemoto Saiki, Asuka Morizane, Takuya Hayashi, Yo Kishi, Hitoshi Fukuda, Yo Okamoto, Masaomi Koyanagi, Makoto Ideguchi, Hideki Hayashi, Takayuki Imazato, Hiroshi Kawasaki, Hirofumi Suemori, Shigeki Omachi, Hidehiko Iida, Nobuyuki Itoh, Norio Nakatsuji, Yoshiki Sasai, Nobuo Hashimoto