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A6: Chromaffin progenitor cells from the adrenal medulla

Project leaders: Dr. M. Ehrhart-Bornstein / Prof. Dr. S. Bornstein

Chromaffin progenitor cells of the adrenal medulla belong to the sympathoadrenal (SA) lineage of neural crest-derived cells. In the previous funding periods, we developed methods for their isolation and characterization from adult bovine and human adrenals and defined their endocrine and neuronal differentiation potential. Based on these data we will (1) complete the analysis of key signalling pathways that play a role in their integration in the organ and cellular environment. (2) We will embark to study in vivo adrenal medullary tissue formation from SA progenitor cells using transgenic mouse models where potential progenitors are GFP or YFP labelled. (3) As a logical continuation of this work we will translate our findings to preclinical models for neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Parkinson’s disease. Due to their differentiation capacity into dopaminergic neurons these cells have a unique potential for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and will be ideally suited for transplantation into the striatum of our Parkinsonian animal model. In this setting we will compare the efficiency of pretreated (pre-differentiated) versus untreated progenitor cells. We believe that these insights will help to establish and constantly improve regeneration and restoration in disease models for endocrine and neurodegenerative diseases and will open an avenue for novel treatment strategies for Parkinson’s disease.

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Funding program:

DFG