Fetal nigral transplantation as a therapy for Parkinson's disease

Trends Neurosci. 1996 Mar;19(3):102-9. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(96)80038-5.


Fetal nigral grafts have been demonstrated to survive, secrete dopamine, form synaptic connections with host neurons, and reverse behavioral disturbances in experimental models of parkinsonism. These findings suggest that fetal nigral grafting may be a useful therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Recent preliminary clinical trials of transplantation in PD have shown increased striatal fluorodopa uptake (measured using positron emission tomography) and clinical benefit in some patients. An autopsy study of one patient who had received fetal nigral transplants demonstrated robust graft survival and striatal reinnervation, with no evidence of host-derived sprouting or immune rejection. The development of a successful clinical transplantation program depends on a careful consideration of the transplantation variables and the related long-term risks and benefits to the patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Pregnancy
  • Substantia Nigra / transplantation*