Object. The therapeutic effects of adult and embryonic neural precursor cells (NPCs) were evaluated and their therapeutic potential compared in a rat model of Parkinson disease. Methods. Adult NPCs were obtained from the subventricular zone and embryonic NPCs were taken from the ganglionic eminence of 14-day-old embryos. Each NPC type was cultured with epidermal growth factor. The in vitro neuronal differentiation rate of adult NPCs was approximately equivalent to that of embryonic NPCs after two passages. Next, the NPCs were transfected with either green fluorescent protein or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) by adenoviral infection and transplanted into the striata in a rat model of Parkinson disease (PD) induced by unilateral intrastriatal injection of 6-hydroxydopamine. An amphetamine-induced rotation test was used to evaluate rat behavioral improvement, and immunohistochemical analysis was performed to compare grafted cell survival, differentiation, and host tissue changes. Results. The rats with GDNF-transfected NPCs had significantly fewer amphetamine-induced rotations and less histological damage. Except for the proportion of surviving grafted cells, there were no significant differences between adult and embryonic NPCs. Conclusions. Adult and embryonic NPCs have a comparable therapeutic potential in a rat model of PD.
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