Neuronal changes in fetal cortex transplanted to ischemic adult rat cortex

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✓ Fetal cortex from 16- and 17-day-old embryonic rats was transplanted into the parietal cortex of 12 adult rats rendered ischemic by temporary intraluminal occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. Ischemic injury in the host cortex adjacent to all nine surviving transplants was demonstrated with hematoxylin and eosin and cresyl violet stains. Nicotidamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemical studies revealed a normal number of NADPH-d-positive neurons, whereas acetylcholinesterase (AChE) staining revealed many more AChE-positive neurons in the transplants compared to the host parietal cortex. This could be due to: 1) selective survival of AChE neurons in the transplants compared to the host cortex; 2) increased expression of AChE in transplanted neurons; 3) induction of AChE in normally AChE-negative neurons; or 4) decreased transport of the AChE enzyme from the perikarya to fibers in surviving transplanted neurons. Many fibers positive for AChE and NADPH-d crossed between the host and transplant, although fiber density in the transplants was less than in normal host cortex. These results should encourage future investigation of whether similar transplants improve neurological function following experimental stroke.

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Address reprint requests to: Frank R. Sharp, M.D., Department of Neurology (V127), Veterans Administration Medical Center, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, California 94121.
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