Doublecortin-positive cells in the adult primate cerebral cortex and possible role in brain plasticity and development

J Comp Neurol. 2011 Mar 1;519(4):775-89. doi: 10.1002/cne.22547.


We have demonstrated that cortical cell autografts might be a useful therapy in two monkey models of neurological disease: motor cortex lesion and Parkinson's disease. However, the origin of the useful transplanted cells obtained from cortical biopsies is not clear. In this report we describe the expression of doublecortin (DCX) in these cells based on reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunodetection in the adult primate cortex and cell cultures. The results showed that DCX-positive cells were present in the whole primate cerebral cortex and also expressed glial and/or neuronal markers such as glial fibrillary protein (GFAP) or neuronal nuclei (NeuN). We also demonstrated that only DCX/GFAP positive cells were able to proliferate and originate progenitor cells in vitro. We hypothesize that these DCX-positive cells in vivo have a role in cortical plasticity and brain reaction to injury. Moreover, in vitro these DCX-positive cells have the potential to reacquire progenitor characteristics that confirm their potential for brain repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Doublecortin Domain Proteins
  • Doublecortin Protein
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Primates* / anatomy & histology
  • Primates* / growth & development
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • Biomarkers
  • DCX protein, human
  • Doublecortin Domain Proteins
  • Doublecortin Protein
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neuropeptides