Migration patterns and phenotypic differentiation of long-term expanded human neural progenitor cells after transplantation into the adult rat brain

Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2002 Mar 31;134(1-2):123-41. doi: 10.1016/s0165-3806(01)00330-3.


We have examined long-term growth-factor expanded human neural progenitors following transplantation into the adult rat brain. Cells, obtained from the forebrain of a 9-week old fetus, propagated in the presence of epidermal growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, and leukemia inhibitory factor were transplanted into the striatum, subventricular zone (SVZ), and hippocampus. At 14 weeks, implanted cells were identified using antisera recognizing human nuclei and the reporter gene green fluorescent protein. Different migration patterns of the grafted cells were observed: (i) target-directed migration of doublecortin (DCX, a marker for migrating neuroblasts)-positive cells along the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb and into the granular cell layer following transplantation into the SVZ and hippocampus, respectively; (ii) non-directed migration of DCX-positive cells in the grey matter in striatum and hippocampus, and (iii) extensive migration of above all nestin-positive/DCX-negative cells within white matter tracts. At the striatal implantation site, neuronal differentiation was most pronounced at the graft core with axonal projections extending along the internal capsule bundles. In the hippocampus, cells differentiated primarily into interneurons both in the dentate gyrus and in the CA1-3 regions as well as into granule-like neurons. In the striatum and hippocampus, a significant proportion of the grafted cells differentiated into glial cells, some with long processes extending along white matter tracts. Although the survival time was over 3 months in the present study a large fraction of the grafted cells remained undifferentiated in a stem or progenitor cell stage as revealed by the expression of nestin and/or GFAP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / surgery*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology
  • Corpus Striatum / surgery
  • Doublecortin Protein
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / surgery
  • Humans
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Heterologous*