Transgenic and knockout mice have contributed much to our current understanding of the role played by single genes during development and in pathological processes of the CNS, such as neuro-degeneration. However, embryonic lethality resulting from the disruption of important genes has often hindered the interpretation of such experiments. Grafting of immature cells from genetically modified organisms into healthy recipients promises to efficiently bypass this problem. We have used neural transplantation techniques which allow us to keep CNS tissue of knockout and transgenic mice viable for a prolonged period of time in the brain or in the kidney capsule of healthy recipients. We have characterized biological parameters such as growth, proliferation and differentiation and also the formation of an intact blood-brain barrier (BBB) after grafting of wild-type telencephalic anlage in this system. We have also employed this technique to study the longterm properties of neuroepithelial tissue derived from knockout mice. The results of our studies are discussed in the context of neurodegenerative diseases.