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Cell Transplant. 2013;22(7):1237-47. doi: 10.3727/096368912X657422. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Postnatal transplantation of interneuronal precursor cells decreases anxiety-like behavior in adult mice.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


The GABAergic system is critically involved in the modulation of anxiety levels, and dysfunction of GABAergic neurotransmission appears to be involved in the development of generalized anxiety disorder. Precursor cells from the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) have the ability to migrate and differentiate into inhibitory GABAergic interneurons after being transplanted into the mouse brain. Thus, transplantation of interneuronal precursor cells derived from the MGE into a postnatal brain could modify the neuronal circuitry, increasing GABAergic tone and decreasing anxiety-like behavior in animals. Our aim was to verify the in vivo effects of transplanted MGE cells by evaluating anxiety-like behavior in mice. MGE cells from 14-day green fluorescent protein (GFP) embryos were transplanted into newborn mice. At 15, 30, and 60 days posttransplant, the animals were tested for anxiety behavior with the elevated plus maze (EPM) test. Our results show that transplanted cells from MGE were able to migrate to different regions of the brain parenchyma and to differentiate into inhibitory interneurons. The neuronal precursor cell transplanted animals had decreased levels of anxiety, indicating a specific function of these cells in vivo. We suggested that transplantation of MGE-derived neuronal precursors into neonate brain could strengthen the inhibitory function of the GABAergic neuronal circuitry related to anxiety-like behavior in mice.

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