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Principle Investigator: Holger Braun

In spite of the presence of endogenous neuronal stem cells the transplantation of exogenous stem cells represents a possible therapy of certain neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson) in the future.

Enhanced green fluorescent protein+ (GFP+) murine embryonic stem cells are pre-differentiated into nestin+ neural precursor cells before they are injected into rats subjected to a focal cerebral ischemia which is induced by injection of the vasoconstrictor endothelin near to the middle cerebral artery (MCA). This procedure induced a transient occlusion of the MCA for 80-90 minutes leading to an unilateral cortical-striatal infarction. Cells are transplanted one week after ischemia at different sites of the infarcted brain. Rats are immunosuppressed by daily injections of cyclosporine A. At different time points after transplantation the survival and differentiation state of transplanted cells is investigated by immunohistochemistry.

Transplanted cells successfully engrafted, survived and differentiated within non-damaged as well as in infarcted areas of the brain. Only a minor fraction of transplanted cells still expressed nestin four weeks after transplantation indicating that most grafted cells have differentiated. NeuN-positivity of GFP+ cells (a) demonstrated their development into mature neurons. In addition, we found GFP/GFAP double-labelled cells (b) showing that a part of the cells has differentiated into astrocytes. In the case of contralateral application we found no migration into the damaged area along the corpus callosum.

 

References:

Buehnemann C, Bernreuther C, Dihné M, Braun H, Schachner M, Reymann KG (2004) Transplantation of pre-differentiated murine embryonic stem cells into a rat model of transient focal cerebral ischemia. Poster: 34. Neuroscience Meeting; 23.-27. Oktober 2004 San Diego, CA

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