A comparison of the behavioural effects of embryonic nigral grafts in the caudate nucleus and in the putamen of marmosets with unilateral 6-OHDA lesions
Ridley, R. M.
Baker, H. F.
The behaviour of marmosets with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the nigrostriatal bundle and grafts of embryonic mesencephalon in either the caudate nucleus or the putamen was compared with that of lesion-alone and unoperated controls. The grafts comprised injections of cell suspensions prepared from marmoset ventral mesencephalon (i.e. allografts) targeted at four sites either entirely within the caudate nucleus or entirely within the putamen. Behavioural tests, including measures of amphetamine-induced rotation, neglect and use of each arm to retrieve food from inside tubes, were given before and after the 6-hydroxydopamine lesion and at regular intervals for 6 months after transplantation surgery. Grafts in the caudate nucleus reduced the ipsilateral rotation induced by amphetamine, whereas grafts in the putamen did not. Despite the absence of an effect on rotation, the putamen grafts were effective in reducing lesion-induced deficits on the task in which the marmosets were required to reach into tubes. In this latter task, the caudate grafts were also effective when the monkeys were given a free choice of which hand to use. However, when constrained to use the hand contralateral to the lesion and graft, the performance of the marmosets with caudate grafts was not significantly improved compared with that of lesion-alone controls. Neither the grafts in the caudate nucleus nor the grafts in the putamen abolished the contralateral somatosensory neglect induced by the lesion, although there was a trend for the marmosets with putamen grafts to contact the label on the contralateral side more quickly than those with caudate grafts or the lesion-alone controls. These results demonstrate that the location of embryonic nigral grafts within the primate striatum influences the profile of functional recovery.