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Open Access Transplant of GABAergic Precursors Restores Hippocampal Inhibitory Function in a Mouse Model of Seizure Susceptibility

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Defects in GABAergic function can cause epilepsy. In the last years, cell-based therapies have attempted to correct these defects with disparate success on animal models of epilepsy. Recently, we demonstrated that medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)-derived cells grafted into the neonatal normal brain migrate and differentiate into functional mature GABAergic interneurons. These cells are able to modulate the local level of GABA-mediated synaptic inhibition, which suggests their suitability for cell-based therapies. However, it is unclear whether they can integrate in the host circuitry and rescue the loss of inhibition in pathological conditions. Thus, as proof of principle, we grafted MGE-derived cells into a mouse model of seizure susceptibility caused by specific elimination of GABAergic interneuron subpopulations in the mouse hippocampus after injection of the neurotoxic saporin conjugated to substance P (SSP-Sap). This ablation was associated with significant decrease in inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSC) on CA1 pyramidal cells and increased seizure susceptibility induced by pentylenetetrazol (PTZ). Grafting of GFP+ MGE-derived cells in SSP-Sap-treated mice repopulates the hippocampal ablated zone with cells expressing molecular markers of mature interneurons. Interestingly, IPSC kinetics on CA1 pyramidal cells of ablated hippocampus significantly increased after transplantation, reaching levels similar to the normal mice. More importantly, this was associated with reduction in seizure severity and decrease in postseizure mortality induced by PTZ. Our data show that MGE-derived cells fulfill most of the requirements for an appropriate cell-based therapy, and indicate their suitability for neurological conditions where a modulation of synaptic inhibition is needed, such as epilepsy.

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Keywords: Cell therapy; Epilepsy; GABA; Interneuron; Medial ganglionic eminence (MGE); Saporin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, Andalusian Center for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (CABIMER), Seville, Spain; Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe (CIPF), Valencia, Spain

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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