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J Neurosci Res. 2008 Mar;86(4):873-82.

Neural progenitor cells transplanted into the uninjured brain undergo targeted migration after stroke onset.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5327, USA.


Endogenous neural stem cells normally reside in their niche, the subventricular zone, in the uninjured rodent brain. Upon stroke, these cells become more proliferative and migrate away from the subventricular zone into the surrounding parenchyma. It is not known whether this stroke-induced behavior is due to changes in the niche or introduction of attractive cues in the infarct zone, or both. A related question is how transplanted neural stem cells respond to subsequent insults, including whether exogenous stem cells have the plasticity to respond to subsequent injuries after engraftment. We addressed this issue by transplanting neural progenitor cells (NPCs) into the uninjured brain and then subjecting the animal to stroke. We were able to follow the transplanted NPCs in vivo by labeling them with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles and imaging them via high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during engraftment and subsequent to stroke. We find that transplanted NPCs that are latent can be activated in response to stroke and exhibit directional migration into the parenchyma, similar to endogenous neural NPCs, without a niche environment.

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