The cellular components of striatal grafts into the host striatum of rats were studied using [3H]thymidine autoradiography, histochemistry, immunocytochemistry and Golgi-staining. Autoradiography revealed that a layer of glial cells, somas smaller than 8 μm in diameter, stained positive with glial fibrillary acidic protein, and demarcating transplant from host, is derived mainly from the donor. Golgi studies revealed that many neuronal fibers fail to cross the glial layer to reach the host striatum. Migration of transplanted striatal cells into the host milieu was evident. The density of migrated cells decreased linearly as a function of distance from the transplant. Most of the far-migrated cells were glial cells. Neuronal migration was limited. In the transplant, donor cells marked by [3H]thymidine constituted at least 70% of the population. Neurons which stained positively for GABA, substance P, and acetylcholinesterase were identified in the transplant. Fibers of two of these three neuronal types, substance P and acetylcholinesterase, formed patchy patterns in the transplant. Detailed morphology on GABAergic fiber is not available to date, because of the limited antibodies or the method used. GABA is the highest population in the striatal transplant. Two types of GABA-positive cells were clearly distinguishable according to cell size. A majority resembled the medium-sized cell commonly found in striatum, while those of the other type resembled the larger GABA cells usually found in the globus pallidus.
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