Differentiation of rat neural stem cells and its relationship with environment

Biomed Environ Sci. 2004 Mar;17(1):1-7.


Objective: To explore the differentiation fates of rat neural stem cells (NSCs) in different environmental conditions.

Methods: NSCs derived from 16-day-old rat embryo were proliferated in vitro and implanted into the brain of rats with intra-cerebral hemorrhage. At the same time some NSCs were co-cultured in vitro with Schwann cells derived from newborn rats. MAP-2, GFAP and GalC (which are the specific markers of neural cells, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes respectively), BrdU and beta-tubulin were detected by immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent methods.

Results: BrdU positive cells that were implanted into the brain distributed around the hemorrhagic area. The majority of them were GFAP positive astrocytes while a few of them were beta-tubulin positive neural cells or GalC positive oligodendrocytes. After being co-cultured with Schwann cells in vitro, NSCs are predominately shown beta-tubulin and MAP-2 positive, and only a minority of them were GFAP or GalC positive.

Conclusions: The hemorrhagic environment in vivo induces NSCs to differentiate mainly into astrocytes while co-culture with Schwann cells in vitro induce the majority of NSCs to differentiate into neural cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Caudate Nucleus / metabolism
  • Caudate Nucleus / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Galactosylceramides / metabolism
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Oligodendroglia / cytology
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Schwann Cells / cytology
  • Sciatic Nerve / cytology
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*


  • Galactosylceramides
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • galactocerebroside