Murine Brain Progenitor Cells Have the Ability to Differentiate Into Functional Neurons and Integrate Into the CNS
Abstract:Although neural stem and progenitor cells have been shown to differentiate into neurons, few studies have examined the physiological properties of the differentiated neurons derived from stem cells. Here we show that mouse brain progenitor cells (mBPCs) differentiated in culture by removal of mitogenic factors or addition of BDNF or GDNF express neuronal-specific proteins including MAP-2 and synaptobrevin II. However, these cells demonstrate small voltage-gated Na+ currents and are not able to generate action potentials. When the mBPCs are cocultured with developing rat hippocampal neurons, the stem cells differentiate into neurons expressing MAP-2, develop large voltage-gated Na+ currents, and are able to generate action potentials. To investigate the influence of a mature CNS environment on survival, differentiation, migration, and morphological integration, mBPCs were transplanted into the spinal cord of adult mice. Undifferentiated cells transplanted into the spinal cord exhibited limited migration and expressed NG2, but did not differentiate to express MAP-2. Predifferentiated cells migrated to both gray and white matter with about 23% cells developing MAP-2 immunoreactivity after 8 weeks. These results suggest that both the environment and state of differentiation may dictate migration and the differentiation pathway of stem cells after transplantation.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA 2: Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Publication date: August 1, 2006
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