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Open Access Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells Transplanted to the Hypoglossal Nucleus Integrates With the Host CNS in Adult Rats and Promotes Motor Neuron Survival

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Transplantation of neural stem cells and the mobilization of endogenous neuronal precursors in the adult brain have been proposed as therapeutic strategies for central nervous system disorders and injuries. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible survival and integration of grafted neural progenitor cells (NPCs) from the subventricular zone (SVZ) in a hypoglossal nerve avulsion model with substantial neuronal loss. Adult neural progenitor cells (NPCs) from the subventricular zone (SVZ) were cultured from inbred transgenic eGFP Lewis rats and transplanted to the hypoglossal nucleus of inbred Lewis rat from the same family but that were not carrying the eGFP strain after avulsion of the hypoglossal nerve. Grafted cells survived in the host more than 3 months and differentiated into neurons [βIII tubulin (Tuj-1 staining)] with fine axon- and dendrite-like processes as well as astrocytes (GFAP) and oligodendrocytes (O4) with typical morphology. Staining for synaptic structures (synaptophysin and bassoon) indicated integration of differentiated cells from the graft with the host CNS. Furthermore, transplantation of NPCs increased the number of surviving motoneurons in the hypoglossal nucleus after nerve avulsion that, if untreated, result in substantial neuronal death. The NPCs used in this study expressed VEGF in vitro as well as in vivo following transplantation that may mediate the rescue effect of the axotomized motoneurons.

Keywords: Brain stem; Integration; Motor neurons; Nerve injury; Neural progenitor cells; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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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.
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