Lewy bodies in grafted neurons in subjects with Parkinson's disease suggest host-to-graft disease propagation

Nat Med. 2008 May;14(5):501-3. doi: 10.1038/nm1746. Epub 2008 Apr 6.


Two subjects with Parkinson's disease who had long-term survival of transplanted fetal mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons (11-16 years) developed alpha-synuclein-positive Lewy bodies in grafted neurons. Our observation has key implications for understanding Parkinson's pathogenesis by providing the first evidence, to our knowledge, that the disease can propagate from host to graft cells. However, available data suggest that the majority of grafted cells are functionally unimpaired after a decade, and recipients can still experience long-term symptomatic relief.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Tissue Transplantation / methods
  • Brain Tissue Transplantation / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation / methods
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lewy Bodies / metabolism
  • Lewy Bodies / pathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • alpha-Synuclein / metabolism*


  • alpha-Synuclein