Grafting of neural stem and progenitor cells to the hippocampus of young, irradiated mice causes gliosis and disrupts the granule cell layer

Cell Death Dis. 2013 Apr 18;4(4):e591. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2013.92.


Ionizing radiation persistently reduces the pool of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, which may explain some of the learning deficits observed in patients treated with radiotherapy, particularly pediatric patients. A single dose of 8 Gy irradiation (IR) was administered to the brains of postnatal day 14 (P14) C57BL/6 mice and 1.0 × 10(5) bromodeoxyuridine-labeled, syngeneic NSPCs were injected into the hippocampus 1 day, 1 week or 6 weeks after IR. Cell survival and phenotype were evaluated 5 weeks after grafting. When grafted 1 day post-IR, survival and neuronal differentiation of the transplanted NSPCs were lower in irradiated brains, whereas the survival and cell fate of grafted cells were not significantly different between irradiated and control brains when transplantation was performed 1 or 6 weeks after IR. A young recipient brain favored neuronal development of grafted cells, whereas the older recipient brains displayed an increasing number of cells developing into astrocytes or unidentified cells. Injection of NSPCs, but not vehicle, induced astrogliosis and reduced thickness of the dorsal blade of the GCL after 5 months. In summary, we demonstrate that age and interval between IR and grafting can affect survival and differentiation of grafted NSPCs. The observed long-term gliosis and degeneration warrant caution in the context of NSPC grafting for therapeutical purposes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Brain / radiation effects
  • Cell Differentiation / radiation effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gliosis / pathology*
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Hippocampus / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / transplantation
  • Neurogenesis
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation, Ionizing*