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Human embryonic stem cell-derived neural precursors develop into neurons and integrate into the host brain

Authors

  • Daniel J. Guillaume,

    1. Departments of Anatomy and Neurology, School of Medicine, The Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242
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  • M. Austin Johnson,

    1. Departments of Anatomy and Neurology, School of Medicine, The Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Xue-Jun Li,

    1. Departments of Anatomy and Neurology, School of Medicine, The Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Su-Chun Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Anatomy and Neurology, School of Medicine, The Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    • Waisman Center, Rm T613, University of Wisconsin, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705
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Abstract

Whether and how in-vitro-produced human neural precursors mature and integrate into the brain are crucial to the utility of human embryonic stem (hES) cells in treating neurological disorders. After transplantation into the ventricles of neonatal immune-deficient mice, hES-cell-derived neural precursors stopped expressing the cell division marker Ki67, except in neurogenic areas, and differentiated into neurons and then glia in a temporal course intrinsic to that of human cells regardless of location. The human cells located in the gray matter became neurons in the olfactory bulb and striatum, whereas those in the white matter produced exclusively glia. Importantly, the grafted human cells formed synapses. Thus, the in-vitro-produced human neural precursors follow their intrinsic temporal program to produce neurons and glia and, in response to environmental signals, generate cells appropriate to their target regions and integrate into the brain. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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