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Stem Cells Transl Med. 2013 Jun;2(6):444-54. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2012-0105. Epub 2013 May 16.

Transplantation of CD15-enriched murine neural stem cells increases total engraftment and shifts differentiation toward the oligodendrocyte lineage.

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  • 1Research Institute of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is a promising therapeutic approach for neurological diseases. However, only a limited number of cells can be transplanted into the brain, resulting in relatively low levels of engraftment. This study investigated the potential of using a cell surface marker to enrich a primary NSC population to increase stable engraftment in the recipient brain. NSCs were enriched from the neonatal mouse forebrain using anti-CD15 (Lewis X antigen, or SSEA-1) in a "gentle" fluorescence-activated cell sorting protocol, which yielded >98% CD15-positive cells. The CD15-positive cells differentiated into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes in vitro, after withdrawal of growth factors, demonstrating multipotentiality. CD15-positive cells were expanded in vitro and injected bilaterally into the ventricles of neonatal mice. Cells from enriched and unenriched donor populations were found throughout the neuraxis, in both neurogenic and non-neurogenic regions. Total engraftment was similar at 7 days postinjection, but by 28 days postinjection, after brain organogenesis was complete, the survival of donor cells was significantly increased in CD15-enriched grafts over the unenriched cell grafts. The engrafted cells were heterogeneous in morphology and differentiated into all three neural lineages. Furthermore, in the CD15-enriched grafts, there was a significant shift toward differentiation into oligodendrocytes. This strategy may allow better delivery of therapeutic cells to the developing central nervous system and may be particularly useful for treating diseases involving white matter lesions.


Cell surface markers; FACS; Multipotential differentiation; Neural differentiation; Neural stem cell; Oligodendrocytes; Stem cell transplantation

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