Author(s): Yan J, Studer L, McKay RD
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Abstract CNS precursors derived from E12 rat mesencephalon proliferate in the presence of basic fibroblast growth factor and differentiate in vitro into functional dopaminergic neurons, which upon transplantation alleviate behavioral symptoms in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. Here we show that the efficiency of dopaminergic differentiation decreases in the mesencephalic precursors that were proliferated or passaged for extended periods in vitro. Ascorbic acid treatment restored dopaminergic differentiation in these precursors and led to a greater than 10-fold increase in dopamine neuron yield compared with untreated cultures. The effect of ascorbic acid was stereospecific and could not be mimicked by any other antioxidants. The expression of sodium-dependent vitamin C transporter, a recently identified stereospecific ascorbic acid transporter, was maintained in mesencephalic precursors for extended in vitro periods. Pre-treatment of in vitro expanded mesencephalic precursors with ascorbic acid might facilitate the large-scale generation of dopaminergic neurons for clinical transplantation.
This article was published in J Neurochem
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy