Generation of neural progenitor cells from whole adult bone marrow

Exp Neurol. 2002 Dec;178(2):288-93. doi: 10.1006/exnr.2002.8039.


The efficient and large-scale generation of neural progenitor cells for neural grafting in the treatment of neurological diseases has been a challenge. Here we describe the isolation and successful propagation of neural progenitor cells from adult rat bone marrow. Unfractionated bone marrow cultured in vitro with epidermal growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor gave rise to cellular spheres which differentiated into neurons and glia. The cellular spheres expressed nestin, a neural stem cell marker as well as CD90, a marker of hematopoietic stem cells. This methodology addresses the ethical and tissue rejection problems associated with fetal neural stem cells and would circumvent the difficulty associated with generating neural progenitors from the adult brain. We demonstrate that bone marrow may offer a renewable autologous extracranial source of neural progenitor cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow Cells / physiology
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Frontal Lobe / cytology
  • Frontal Lobe / drug effects
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Neuroglia / drug effects
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Stem Cells / physiology


  • Fibroblast Growth Factors