Dopamine transporter neuroimaging accurately assesses the maturation of dopamine neurons in a preclinical model of Parkinson’s disease

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Dopamine transporter neuroimaging accurately assesses the maturation of dopamine neurons in a preclinical model of Parkinson’s disease
Title:
Dopamine transporter neuroimaging accurately assesses the maturation of dopamine neurons in a preclinical model of Parkinson’s disease
Journal Title:
Stem Cell Research & Therapy
Keywords:
Publication Date:
08 August 2020
Citation:
Goggi, J.L., Qiu, L., Liao, M.C. et al. Dopamine transporter neuroimaging accurately assesses the maturation of dopamine neurons in a preclinical model of Parkinson’s disease. Stem Cell Res Ther 11, 347 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-01868-4
Abstract:
Background Significant developments in stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) have already been achieved; however, methods for reliable assessment of dopamine neuron maturation in vivo are lacking. Establishing the efficacy of new cellular therapies using non-invasive methodologies will be critical for future regulatory approval and application. The current study examines the utility of neuroimaging to characterise the in vivo maturation, innervation and functional dopamine release of transplanted human embryonic stem cell-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons (hESC-mDAs) in a preclinical model of PD. Methods Female NIH RNu rats received a unilateral stereotaxic injection of 6-OHDA into the left medial forebrain bundle to create the PD lesion. hESC-mDA cell and sham transplantations were carried out 1 month post-lesion, with treated animals receiving approximately 4 × 105 cells per transplantation. Behavioural analysis, [18F]FBCTT and [18F]fallypride microPET/CT, was conducted at 1, 3 and 6 months post-transplantation and compared with histological characterisation at 6 months. Results PET imaging revealed transplant survival and maturation into functional dopaminergic neurons. [18F]FBCTT-PET/CT dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging demonstrated pre-synaptic restoration and [18F]fallypride-PET/CT indicated functional dopamine release, whilst amphetamine-induced rotation showed significant behavioural recovery. Moreover, histology revealed that the grafted cells matured differently in vivo producing high- and low-tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expressing cohorts, and only [18F]FBCTT uptake was well correlated with differentiation. Conclusions This study provides further evidence for the value of in vivo functional imaging for the assessment of cell therapies and highlights the utility of DAT imaging for the determination of early post-transplant cell maturation and differentiation of hESC-mDAs.
License type:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Funding Info:
This work was supported by funding under a Master Research Agreement between the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, and GE Healthcare Life Sciences (BMRC 152 187 0011/ IAF 311014 K).
Description:
This journal is open access.
ISSN:
1757-6512
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