Survival, migration and neuronal differentiation of human fetal striatal and cortical neural stem cells grafted in stroke-damaged rat striatum

Authors

  • Vladimer Darsalia,

    1. Laboratory of Neural Stem Cell Biology, Section of Restorative Neurology, Lund Strategic Research Center for Stem Cell Biology and Cell Therapy, University Hospital BMC B10, Klinikgatan 26, SE-221 84 Lund, Sweden
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  • Therése Kallur,

    1. Laboratory of Neural Stem Cell Biology, Section of Restorative Neurology, Lund Strategic Research Center for Stem Cell Biology and Cell Therapy, University Hospital BMC B10, Klinikgatan 26, SE-221 84 Lund, Sweden
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  • Zaal Kokaia

    1. Laboratory of Neural Stem Cell Biology, Section of Restorative Neurology, Lund Strategic Research Center for Stem Cell Biology and Cell Therapy, University Hospital BMC B10, Klinikgatan 26, SE-221 84 Lund, Sweden
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Dr Zaal Kokaia, as above.
E-mail: Zaal.Kokaia@med.lu.se

Abstract

Stroke is a neurodegenerative disorder and the leading cause of disability in adult humans. Treatments to support efficient recovery in stroke patients are lacking. Several studies have demonstrated the ability of grafted neural stem cells (NSCs) to partly improve impaired neurological functions in stroke-subjected animals. Recently, we reported that NSCs from human fetal striatum and cortex exhibit region-specific differentiation in vitro, but survive, migrate and form neurons to a similar extent after intrastriatal transplantation in newborn rats. Here, we have transplanted the same cells into the stroke-damaged striatum of adult rats. The two types of NSCs exhibited a similar robust survival (30%) at 1 month after transplantation, and migrated throughout the damaged striatum. Striatal NSCs migrated farther and occupied a larger volume of striatum. In the transplantation core, cells were undifferentiated and expressed nestin and, to a lesser extent, also GFAP, βIII-tubulin, DCX and calretinin, markers of immature neural lineage. Immunocytochemistry using markers of proliferation (p-H3 and Ki67) revealed a very low content of proliferating cells (< 1%) in the grafts. Human cells outside the transplantation core differentiated, exhibited mature neuronal morphology and expressed mature neuronal markers such as HuD, calbindin and parvalbumin. Interestingly, striatal NSCs generated a greater number of parvalbumin+ and calbindin+ neurons. Virtually none of the grafted cells differentiated into astrocytes or oligodendrocytes. Based on these data, human fetal striatum- and cortex-derived NSCs could be considered potentially safe and viable for transplantation, with strong neurogenic potential, for further exploration in animal models of stroke.

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