Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Intravenous administration of mesenchymal stem cells exerts therapeutic effects on parkinsonian model of rats: Focusing on neuroprotective effects of stromal cell-derived factor-1α

Feifei Wang, Takao Yasuhara*, Tetsuro Shingo, Masahiro Kameda, Naoki Tajiri, Wen Ji Yuan, Akihiko Kondo, Tomohito Kadota, Tanefumi Baba, Judith Thomas Tayra, Yoichiro Kikuchi, Yasuyuki Miyoshi and Isao Date

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurological Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan

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BMC Neuroscience 2010, 11:52  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-11-52

Published: 26 April 2010



Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are pluripotent stem cells derived from bone marrow with secretory functions of various neurotrophic factors. Stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) is also reported as one of chemokines released from MSCs. In this research, the therapeutic effects of MSCs through SDF-1α were explored. 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 20 μg) was injected into the right striatum of female SD rats with subsequent administration of GFP-labeled MSCs, fibroblasts, (i.v., 1 × 107 cells, respectively) or PBS at 2 hours after 6-OHDA injection. All rats were evaluated behaviorally with cylinder test and amphetamine-induced rotation test for 1 month with consequent euthanasia for immunohistochemical evaluations. Additionally, to explore the underlying mechanisms, neuroprotective effects of SDF-1α were explored using 6-OHDA-exposed PC12 cells by using dopamine (DA) assay and TdT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining.


Rats receiving MSC transplantation significantly ameliorated behaviorally both in cylinder test and amphetamine-induced rotation test compared with the control groups. Correspondingly, rats with MSCs displayed significant preservation in the density of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive fibers in the striatum and the number of TH-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) compared to that of control rats. In the in vitro study, SDF-1α treatment increased DA release and suppressed cell death induced by 6-OHDA administration compared with the control groups.


Consequently, MSC transplantation might exert neuroprotection on 6-OHDA-exposed dopaminergic neurons at least partly through anti-apoptotic effects of SDF-1α. The results demonstrate the potentials of intravenous MSC administration for clinical applications, although further explorations are required.