This project involves the development of continuous cell lines for use as models to investigate effects of drugs in vitro, in neural transplantation as an alternative to primary cells and tissues, and for basic studies of neural cell biology. Current efforts include development of mutant truncated forms of SV40 large T antigen, assessment of appropriate promoter/enhancer elements to drive these molecules and methods for the delivery of genes or combinations of genes to primary cells in order to modify the cell cycle. A mutant form of SV40 large T antigen, which lacks p53 binding activity, has been cloned to examine those properties of SV40 large T antigen that are required for immortalizing CNS neurons. This mutant oncogene, called T155, is capable of overcoming cell cycle arrest and immortalizing primary mesencephalic neurons. T155 appears to interfere with the expression of differentiated phenotypes to a much smaller degree than wild-type SV40 large T antigen and, moreover, avoids the problem of interference with the activity of p53, which enhances cell survival. Primary mesencephalic cell cultures immortalized with T155 express differentiated neuronal markers (e.g., neurofilaments, b-III-tubulin), neural precursor markers (e.g., nestin) and glial markers (e.g., GFAP), whereas cells immortalized with wild-type SV40 large T rarely express markers characteristic of mature neurons or glia. In one set of experiments, striatal cell lines have been obtained that produce high levels of GABA, and these cells are effective in transplantation studies in animals. Cell lines from kidney epithelium that produce high levels of growth factors and can be used in neural transplantation in animal models of stroke have also been produced. Several additional variants of T155 have been produced including T155g (genomic), T155c (cDNA), and E107K, which includes a mutation of the Rb binding site for T155.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Intramural Research (Z01)
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National Institute on Drug Abuse
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Lee, Chun-Ting; Bendriem, Raphael M; Freed, William J (2015) A new technique for modeling neuronal connectivity using human pluripotent stem cells. Restor Neurol Neurosci 33:347-56
Nolte, Marc W; Loscher, Wolfgang; Herden, Christiane et al. (2008) Benefits and risks of intranigral transplantation of GABA-producing cells subsequent to the establishment of kindling-induced seizures. Neurobiol Dis 31:342-54
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Harvey, B K; Chen, G J; Schoen, C J et al. (2007) An immortalized rat ventral mesencephalic cell line, RTC4, is protective in a rodent model of stroke. Cell Transplant 16:483-91
Chen, Jia; Lee, Chun-Ting; Errico, Stacie L et al. (2007) Increases in expression of 14-3-3 eta and 14-3-3 zeta transcripts during neuroprotection induced by delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in AF5 cells. J Neurosci Res 85:1724-33
Marchionini, Deanna M; Lehrmann, Elin; Chu, Yaping et al. (2007) Role of heparin binding growth factors in nigrostriatal dopamine system development and Parkinson's disease. Brain Res 1147:77-88
Sanchez, Joseph F; Crooks, Daniel R; Lee, Chun-Ting et al. (2006) GABAergic lineage differentiation of AF5 neural progenitor cells in vitro. Cell Tissue Res 324:1-8
Castillo, Claudia G; Mendoza, Soledad; Freed, William J et al. (2006) Intranigral transplants of immortalized GABAergic cells decrease the expression of kainic acid-induced seizures in the rat. Behav Brain Res 171:109-15
McNeill-Blue, Charlesene; Wetmore, Barbara A; Sanchez, Joseph F et al. (2006) Apoptosis mediated by p53 in rat neural AF5 cells following treatment with hydrogen peroxide and staurosporine. Brain Res 1112:1-15

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