Endometrial stem cell transplantation restores dopamine production in a Parkinson’s disease model
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons. Adult human endometrial derived stem cells (HEDSC), a readily obtainable type of mesenchymal stem-like cell, were used to generate dopaminergic cells and for transplantation. Cells expressing CD90, platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)-Rβ and CD146 but not CD45 or CD31 were differentiated in vitro into dopaminergic neurons that exhibited axon projections, pyramidal cell bodies and dendritic projections that recapitulate synapse formation; these cells also expressed the neural marker nestin and tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis. Whole cell patch clamp recording identified G-protein coupled inwardly rectifying potassium current 2 channels characteristic of central neurons. A 1-methyl 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydro pyridine induced animal model of PD was used to demonstrate the ability of labelled HEDSC to engraft, migrate to the site of lesion, differentiate in vivo and significantly increase striatal dopamine and dopamine metabolite concentrations. HEDSC are a highly inducible source of allogenic stem cells that rescue dopamine concentrations in an immunocompetent PD mouse model.