Transplanted human embryonic germ cell-derived neural stem cells replace neurons and oligodendrocytes in the forebrain of neonatal mice with excitotoxic brain damage

Dawn Mueller, Michael J. Shamblott, Harold E. Fox, John D. Gearhart, Lee J. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Stem cell therapy is a hope for the treatment of some childhood neurological disorders. We examined whether human neural stem cells (hNSCs) replace lost cells in a newborn mouse model of brain damage. Excitotoxic lesions were made in neonatal mouse forebrain with the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor agonist quinolinic acid (QA). QA induced apoptosis in neocortex, hippocampus, striatum, white matter, and subventricular zone. This degeneration was associated with production of cleaved caspase-3. Cells immunopositive for inducible nitric oxide synthase were present in damaged white matter and subventricular zone. Three days after injury, mice received brain parenchymal or intraventricular injections of hNSCs derived from embryonic germ (EG) cells. Human cells were prelabeled in vitro with DiD for in vivo tracking. The locations of hNSCs within the mouse brain were determined through DiD fluorescence and immunodetection of human-specific nestin and nuclear antigen 7 days after transplantation. hNSCs survived transplantation into the lesioned mouse brain, as evidenced by human cell markers and DiD fluorescence. The cells migrated away from the injection site and were found at sites of injury within the striatum, hippocampus, thalamus, and white matter tracts and at remote locations in the brain. Subsets of grafted cells expressed neuronal and glial cell markers. hNSCs restored partially the complement of striatal neurons in brain-damaged mice. We conclude that human EG cell-derived NSCs can engraft successfully into injured newborn brain, where they can survive and disseminate into the lesioned areas, differentiate into neuronal and glial cells, and replace lost neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-608
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of neuroscience research
Volume82
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Keywords

  • Brain trauma
  • Excitoxicity
  • Neonatal brain ischemia
  • Newborn brain damage
  • Stem cell therapy
  • White matter degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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