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Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2007 Feb;17(1):34-40.

Neural crest neuroblasts can colonise aganglionic and ganglionic gut in vivo.

Author information

  • 1Scientific Institute IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy. martucciello@yahoo.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Neural crest (NC) cells differentiate IN VITRO into neuroblasts, precursors of the enteric nervous system (ENS), when stimulated by specific agents. We developed a study aimed at establishing whether NC-derived neuroblasts can survive and colonise IN VIVO when injected into a recipient mouse gut.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The neuroblast precursors of the ENS were obtained from the vagal portion of the neural tubes of 296 CD-1 and GTROSA26 mouse embryos. The embryonic cells of GTROSA26 mice are identifiable through beta-galactosidase activity which allows recognition by blue staining. The host used in this study was the DOM/+ mouse, an animal model for Hirschsprung's disease (aganglionic megacolon). DOM/+ mouse pups (n = 43) received NC-derived cells inoculated into the seromuscular layer of the gut (33/43) or directly into the peritoneal abdominal cavity (10/43).

RESULTS:

All DOM/+ mice survived the procedure and were sacrificed after 7 or 14 days. Histochemical staining detected implanted cells in all mice. These showed specific myenteric colonisation into the aganglionic and ganglionic gut.

CONCLUSION:

The striking result of this study was the specific tropism of the injected NC-derived cells to target sites under the action of unknown chemotactic agents. This experimental procedure might represent a possible treatment option for specific forms of human ENS anomaly such as total intestinal aganglionosis.

PMID:
17407019
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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