Human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells are dopaminergic support cells in the neural retina. Stereotaxic intrastriatal implantation of hRPE cells attached to gelatin microcarriers (Spheramine®) in rodent and non-human primate models of Parkinson's disease (PD) produces long term amelioration of motor and behavioral deficits, with histological and PET evidence of cell survival without immunosuppression. Long-term safety in cynomologous monkeys has also been demonstrated. Six H&Y stage III/IV PD patients were enrolled in a one-year, open-label, single center study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Spheramine (∼325,000 cells) implanted in the most affected post-commissural putamen. All patients tolerated the implantation of Spheramine® well and demonstrated improvement. At 6, 9, and 12 months post-operatively, the mean UPDRS-Motor score "off", the primary outcome measure, improved 33%, (n = 6), 42% (n = 6), and 48% (n = 3), respectively. No "off-state" dyskinesias have been observed. Based on these preliminary results, Spheramine® appears to show promise in treating late stage PD patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry