Transplantation of in vitro-expanded neural stem cells (NSCs) is a potentially powerful tool to repair functions of the injured spinal cord. A prerequisite for the successful transplantation therapy is identification of optimized experimental parameters that can promote maximal survival, extensive migration and selective differentiation of the transplanted NSC population in the spinal cord. To this end, we evaluated the basic characteristics of NSC-like cells from two different donor sources, the embryonic hippocampus and spinal cord, after transplantation into the neonatal spinal cord. Proliferation and differentiation phenotypes of both NSC-like cells can be controlled by the concentration of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) in vitro. Both NSC-like cells can survive within the environment of the intact neonatal spinal cord and showed extensive migratory behaviour shortly after transplantation. However, quantitative analysis revealed preferential migration of hippocampus-derived cells in the dorsal white matter. Both NSC-like cells showed restricted phenotype toward the oligodendroglial lineage after transplantation. Transplantation of the mixture of two cell types revealed selective survival of hippocampus-derived NSC-like cells. This study indicates the possibility of transplanting hippocampus-derived NSCs to supply the cell source for immature oligodendrocytes, which are thought to be essential for both the myelination and trophic support of regenerating axons in the dorsal white matter of the spinal cord.