Transplantation of cerebellar anlagen to hosts with genetic cerebellocortical atrophy

Lazaros C. Triarhou, Walter C. Low, Bernardino Ghetti

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19 Scopus citations


Embryonic cerebellar grafts from genetically normal donors were implanted into the cerebellomedullary cistern of adult 'Purkinje cell degeneration' (pcd) and weaver mutant mice, which are respectively characterized by the selective loss of Purkinje and granule cells. Grafts placed into both mutant recipients exhibited a layered cellular organization reminiscent of the normal cerebellar cortex. Molecular, Purkinje, and granule cell layers were identifiable. Grafted Purkinje cells displayed characteristic cytological features, such as hypolemmal cisterns in association with mitochondria in the perikaryon, and lamellar structures in their axons. The cytological features of granule cell somata in the grafts appeared similar to those of mature granule cells. Electron microscopic examination of the molecular layer of the grafts revealed the presence of parallel fibers, which were not oriented in a parallel fashion; axon terminals of such fibers were often presynaptic to dendritic spines. The number of parallel fibers was markedly reduced in grafts implanted into both mutants compared to the normal cerebellar cortex; however, this phenomenon is commonly seen in cerebellum in tissue culture and in cerebellar transplants into normal hosts. It is concluded, therefore, that the environment of the mutant hosts does not affect the survival of Purkinje or granule cells and that transplantation of solid cerebellar grafts in the neurological mutants studied does not seem to pose any apparent limitations beyond those inherent to the process of cerebellar growth and differentiation outside its normal environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1987


  • 'Purkinje cell degeneration' (pcd)
  • Cerebellum
  • Electron microscopy
  • Light microscopy
  • Neural transplants
  • Neurological mutant mice
  • Weaver

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