Washington: Researchers have suggested that the cell transplants could be used to treat schizophrenia.
Senior author Daniel Lodge, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said that since these cells are not functioning properly, our idea is to replace them.
Lodge and lead author Stephanie Perez, graduate student in his laboratory, biopsied tissue from rat fetuses, isolated cells from the tissue and injected the cells into a brain center called the hippocampus.
This center regulates the dopamine system and plays a role in learning, memory and executive functions such as decision making. Rats treated with the transplanted cells have restored hippocampal and dopamine function.
Lodge said that they put in a lot of cells and not all survived, but a significant portion did and restored hippocampal and dopamine function back to normal.
The study has been published in Molecular Psychiatry.