Anders Björklund

Wallenberg Neuroscience Center Lund University, Lund, Skåne län, Sweden 
Neuroscience, transplantation, monoamines
"Anders Björklund "

My research has been concerned with reparative and neuroprotective mechanisms in the CNS using cell replacement and gene transfer techniques. My group was early in the study of neural tissue transplants, and in the 1970ies we pioneered the development of methods for cell transplantation to the mammalian brain and spinal cord. Our most important contributions during this dynamic period included studies on the survival, integration and functional connectivity of fetal neuroblasts grafted to the CNS of adult rats (1976–79) , functional cell replacement in rodent models of Parkinson’s disease (1979-1983) and Huntington’s disease (1984-1986) , and in animal models of hippocampal damage (1981-1984) and cognitive decline (1982-1986) .

In the mid-1980ies we performed a series of preclinical experimental studies that provided the experimental and methodological basis for the first open-label clinical trials that were initiated at Lund University Hospital in 1987 . The results obtained in the Lund PD transplantation program have provided proof-of-principle that human fetal midbrain dopamine neurons can survive and function for many years (more than a decade) after transplantation to the striatum in patients with advanced Parkinson´s disease (1990-2005) . The Lund PD transplantation program has over the ensuing decades been one of the leading programs in the development of restorative therapies in Parkinson´s disease.

During this time we developed an interest in neurotrophic factors and their neuroprotective/restorative effects in the brain. In collaboration with colleagues in California, we were the first to demonstrate the neuroprotective effect of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the lesioned septo-hippocampal cholinergic system (1987) and the ability of intracerebrally administered NGF protein, or cell-based NGF-delivery, to ameliorate cholinergic neuron atrophy and cognitive impairments in animal models of cognitive decline (1987-1998). Similarly, we have been one of the leading groups in the exploration of GDNF and its neuroprotective and regenerative properties in the nigro-striatal dopamine system (1995-2004) and in the forefront of research aimed at developing recombinant AAV and lentiviral vectors for neuroprotective and restorative therapy in patients with Parkinson´s disease (2000 and onwards) .

In parallel, we have over the last few years developed an interest in the mechanisms underlying L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia, and the role of dopamine released as a ”false transmitter” from serotonin terminals in the induction and triggering of this side effect of L-DOPA medication (2007 and onwards) .
Current research in our group at the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center is developing along five lines:
(i) Generation of transplantable dopamine neuron precursors from embryonic and neural stem cells;
(ii) In vivo studies on cell replacement and functional recovery in animal models of Parkinson´s disease;
(iii) Use of recombinant AAV and lentiviral vectors for gene deletion and targeted delivery of putative therapeutic factors for neuroprotection and functional recovery in the brain;
(iv) Modeling of PD pathology in rodents band on vector-mediated overexpression of ?-synuclein in the nigrostriatal system.
(v) Development of new treatments for L-DOPA induced dyskinesias based on pharmacological silencing of serotonin-mediated dopamine release.
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Elin Andersson grad student Lund University
Hans-Georg Baumgarten grad student Lund University
Thomas Carlsson grad student Lund University
Audrey Dufour grad student Lund University
Ulrica Englund Johansson grad student Lund University
Walter Fischer grad student Lund University
Josephine Hebsgaard grad student
Peter Kalén grad student Lund University
Ingemar Lorén grad student Lund University
Dwain Kevin Morris-Irvin grad student
Ola G. Nilsson grad student Lund University
Martin Olsson grad student Lund University
Alberto Martinez Serrano grad student Lund University
Gunnar Skagerberg grad student Lund University
Klas Wictorin grad student Lund University
Anders Nobin grad student 1969-1973 Lund University
Ulf Stenevi grad student 1969-1973 Lund University
Olle Lindvall grad student 1970-1974 University of Lund
Nils Aage Svendgaard grad student 1972-1975 Lund University
Ole Isacson grad student 1983-1987 Lund University
Patrik Brundin grad student 1983-1988 Lund University
Angela Cenci grad student 1989-1993 Lund University, Sweden
Kenneth Campbell grad student 1990-1994 Lund University
Guido Nikkhah grad student 1990-1994 Lund University
Cecilia Lundberg grad student 1990-1996
Giampiero Leanza grad student 1991-1996 Lund University
Deniz Kirik grad student 1996-2001 Lund University
Christian Winkler grad student 1997-2002 Lund University
Nathalie Breysse grad student 2003-2005 Lund University
Marie Jönsson grad student 2005-2009 Lund University
Johan Jakobsson grad student 2008-2009
Shane Grealish grad student 2007-2012 Lund University
Mickael Decressac post-doc Lund University
Mark Denham post-doc Lund University
Dwain K. Irvin post-doc Lund University
Malin Parmar post-doc
Marina Romero-Ramos post-doc Lund University
Poonam Thakur post-doc
Lachlan Thompson post-doc Lund University
Ludivine S. Breger post-doc 2015- Lund University
Stephen B. Dunnett post-doc 1981-1982 University of Lund
Fred H. (Rusty) Gage post-doc 1980-1985 Lund University
Emma L. Lane post-doc 2004-2006 Lund University, BMC
Manolo Carta post-doc 2005-2010
Eunju Jenny Shin post-doc 2009-2014 Lund University
Piers Christopher Emson research scientist 1976-2010 medicine
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