Neuronal stem cell (NSC) grafts have been investigated as a potential neuro-restorative therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD) but their use is compromised by the death of grafted cells. We investigated the use of Cerebrolysin (CBL), a neurotrophic peptide mixture, as an adjunct to NSC therapy in the α-synuclein (α-syn) transgenic (tg) model of PD. In vehicle-treated α-syn tg mice, there was decreased survival of NSCs. In contrast, CBL treatment enhanced the survival of NSCs in α-syn tg groups and ameliorated behavioral deficits. The grafted NSCs showed lower levels of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling positive cells in the CBL-treated mice when compared with vehicle-treated α-syn tg mice. No evidence of tumor growth was detected. Levels of α-syn were similar in the vehicle in CBL-treated tg mice. In conclusion, CBL treatment might be a potential adjuvant for therapeutic NSC grafting in PD.
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; dementia with Lewy bodies; neurotrophic factors; stem cells; α-synuclein.