Immature progenitor cells (generated by in vitro propagation) may provide a useful alternative to primary cells (from dissected embryonic tissue) for transplantation if their migratory and proliferative and differentiation properties can be controlled and directed in vivo. In this study E15 murine EGF-responsive progenitor cells were transplanted to the striatum of adult rats. Simultaneously, these animals received continuous infusion of either epidermal growth factor (EGF) or vehicle, to the lateral ventricle, for 8 days. In animals that received EGF, the transplanted progenitors migrated toward the lateral ventricle and proliferated, as evidenced by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. Progenitor cells transplanted to rats that received vehicle infusions showed neither of these responses. In all animals, transplanted progenitors expressed an immature astrocyte or oligodendrocyte phenotype, the majority of cells being astrocytes. We conclude that EGF stimulates the migration and proliferation of murine progenitor cells in vivo, either directly or indirectly, but does not influence their phenotypic differentiation.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.