Neurobehavioral Plasticity: Learning, Development, and Response to Brain Insults

By Norman E. Spear; Linda P. Spear et al. | Go to book overview
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12
Variables Influencing Behavior After Transplants of Fetal Hippocampus

Michael L. Woodruff Ronald H. Baisden

East Tennessee State University

Because of the impact made in the news media by reports of surgical implantation of human fetal mesencephalon into the neostriaturn of Parkinson's patients (e.g., Freed et al., 1990; Henderson, Clough, Hughes, Hitchcock, & Kenny, 1991) research in the area of neural transplantation has gained such immediate notoriety that the impression may be that neuroscientists have only recently discovered that neural tissue can survive transplantation to the brain. This is not true. Several observations relevant to research in neural transplantation had already been made by 1950 and included reports of grafting of forebrain tissue to the cortex of adult hosts. A representative sample of this work is reviewed in order to establish historical precedent for the experimental procedures selected for use in the experiments that we have performed to study the effects of transplants of fetal hippocampus on the brain and behavior of adult rats.


EARLY ATTEMPTS TO TRANSPLANT NEURAL TISSUE

In 1890 Thompson reported the outcome of attempts to transplant pieces of cortex from one adult dog to the cortex of another adult dog. He claimed that the transplanted tissue survived for as long as 7 weeks, but the tissue presented in the photornicrograph that accompanies the article does not appear to be neuronal. An early attempt to transplant fetal cortex

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