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J Surg Res. 2011 May 15;167(2):e221-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2011.01.016. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Transplantation of neonatal gut neural crest progenitors reconstructs ganglionic function in benzalkonium chloride-treated homogenic rat colon.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital, Xi'an Jiaotong University College of Medicine, Xi'an, China.



To value the possibility and the future feasibility of the use of autograft cells transplantation in disorders of the enteric neural system, we postulate that isolated neonatal nongenetically modified neural crest progenitors could survive and differentiate into neurons and glia in homogenic denervated rats and, therefore, restore partial intestinal function after transplantation.


Neural crest progenitors were isolated from neonatal rats. After passages, the cells were labeled with CM-DiI. The labeled cells were then delivered into the muscular distal denervated colon of rats whose neural plexuses were eliminated using benzalkonium chloride. The treated colons of recipients were harvested at 1, 4, and 8 wk, and identified by immunofluorescent staining. The physiologic and functional improvements on treated colons were well examined after transplantation 8 wk.


Progenitors could generate neurospheres and differentiate into neurons and glia in vitro. After transplantation, red fluorescent cells were observed in the injected tissue for up to 8 wk, and they differentiated into neurons and glia in the host colon. Functional examinations indicated that symptoms and intestinal dysfunction of the denervated model were reversed.


We provide herein further evidence that autologous cell transplantation is a feasible therapy for enteric nervous system disorders.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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