Neurotransmitter distribution in the second trimester fetal human corpus striatum

K Barami, K D Hutchins, W D Lyman
Neurological Research 2001, 23 (1): 16-22
One experimental strategy that may offer hope in the neurodegenerative disorder Huntington's disease (HD) has been neural transplantation. In HD, most of the pathological changes occur in the corpus striatum. Fetal human striatal implants will most likely be the first transplant strategy attempted in clinical trials to replace lost neurons and/or prevent the degeneration of neurons destined to die. The temporal expression of neurotransmitters in the developing human corpus striatum is a key factor in determining the optimum age of transplantable tissue. To this end, an immunocytochemical analysis of various neurotransmitters was performed on second trimester human brains. Antibodies against acetylcholine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, enkephalin, neuropeptide-Y and substance P were used in ten human fetal brains ranging from 13 to 21 weeks gestation. The presence and pattern of distribution for these neurotransmitters varied in the different parts of the corpus striatum (globus pallidus, putamen, caudate nucleus). These results are compared to the already existing data for the adult human corpus striatum.

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