PET imaging of metabolic changes after neural stem cells and GABA progenitor cells transplantation in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2019 Oct;46(11):2392-2397. doi: 10.1007/s00259-019-04408-2. Epub 2019 Jul 24.


Purpose: Stem cell transplantation is promising for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) treatment. This study aimed to use PET imaging for the investigation of dynamic metabolic changes after transplantation of human neural stem cells (NSCs) and human GABA progenitor cells (GPCs) in a rat model of TLE.

Methods: 18F-FDG PET imaging, video-electroencephalography (EEG), whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and immunostaining were performed after transplantation of NSCs and GPCs.

Results: PET imaging demonstrated that glucose metabolism was gradually improved in the NSCs group, but decreased in GPCs and the control. Video-EEG manifested that seizures were suppressed after NSCs or GPCs transplantation; whole-cell patch-clamp confirmed increased inhibitory response of GPC-derived cells; immunostaining studies verified that the transplanted NSCs and GPCs could survive, migrate and differentiate into mature neuronal subtypes.

Conclusion: 18F-FDG PET imaging could be a distinguishing approach for evaluation of dynamic glycolytic metabolic changes after transplantation of NSCs and GPCs in TLE. Whole-cell patch-clamp provides evidence for functional maturation and integration of transplanted stem cells within host circuits.

Keywords: GABA progenitor cells (GPCs); Glucose metabolism; Neural stem cells (NSCs); Positron emission tomography (PET); Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / therapy*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Glucose