Transplantation of neurospheres after granule cell lesions in rats: cognitive improvements despite no long-term immunodetection of grafted cells

Behav Brain Res. 2003 Aug 14;143(2):177-91. doi: 10.1016/s0166-4328(03)00032-9.


EGF-responsive C17 murine-derived neural stem cells (neurospheres) were grafted into the dentate gyrus of adult male rats after dentate granule cells lesions produced by colchicine injections. Behavioural performance was evaluated over two post-grafting periods, using tests sensitive to hippocampal dysfunctions. The first period began 1 month after grafting and testing conducted in the water maze and the radial maze distinguished working- and reference-memory performance. The second period began 9 months after grafting and learning performance was also evaluated in a Hebb-Williams maze, in addition to both other tests. The lesions induced lasting deficits in all tests. During the first period, the grafts had no effect in either test. Conversely, during the second period, grafted rats showed a weak improvement in the water maze and a significant increase of reference memory performance in the radial maze. In the Hebb-Williams maze, performance of grafted rats was close to normal. Strengthening the idea that dentate gyrus granule cells play an important role in the acquisition of new (perhaps more configural than only spatial) information, our results, moreover, suggest that neurosphere grafts may foster recovery after damage to point-to-point connection systems in the adult brain.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Brain Tissue Transplantation / physiology*
  • Dentate Gyrus / cytology
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiology*
  • Dentate Gyrus / surgery
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Survival
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Mice
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / transplantation*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Telencephalon / cytology
  • Telencephalon / embryology