Stem Cell Therapy Ameliorates Bladder Dysfunction in an Animal Model of Parkinson Disease


Different cell based therapies have been tested, focusing on motor function. We evaluated the effect of human amniotic fluid stem cells and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (ALLCELLS, Emeryville, California) on bladder dysfunction in a rat model of Parkinson disease.

Material and Methods

A nigrostriatal lesion was induced by 6-hydroxydopamine in 96 athymic nude female rats divided into 3 treatment groups. After 2 weeks the groups were injected with human amniotic fluid stem cells, bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells and vehicle for sham treatment, respectively. At 3, 7, 14 and 28 days the bladder function of 8 rats per group was analyzed by conscious cystometry. Brains were extracted for immunostaining.


The nigrostriatal lesion caused bladder dysfunction, which was consistent in sham treated animals throughout the study. Several cystometric parameters improved 14 days after human amniotic fluid stem cell or bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cell injection, concomitant with the presence of human stem cells in the brain. At 14 days only a few cells were observed in a more caudal and lateral position. At 28 days the functional improvement subsided and human stem cells were no longer seen. Human stem cell injection improved the survival of dopaminergic neurons until 14 days. Human stem cells expressed superoxide dismutase-2 and seemed to modulate the expression of interleukin-6 and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor by host cells.


Cell therapy with human amniotic fluid stem cells and bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells temporarily ameliorated bladder dysfunction in a Parkinson disease model. In contrast to integration, cells may act on the injured environment via cell signaling.