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Science. 2000 Dec 1;290(5497):1775-9.

From marrow to brain: expression of neuronal phenotypes in adult mice.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, CCSR 4215, 269 Campus Drive, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5175, USA.


After intravascular delivery of genetically marked adult mouse bone marrow into lethally irradiated normal adult hosts, donor-derived cells expressing neuronal proteins (neuronal phenotypes) developed in the central nervous system. Flow cytometry revealed a population of donor-derived cells in the brain with characteristics distinct from bone marrow. Confocal microscopy of individual cells showed that hundreds of marrow-derived cells in brain sections expressed gene products typical of neurons (NeuN, 200-kilodalton neurofilament, and class III beta-tubulin) and were able to activate the transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). The generation of neuronal phenotypes in the adult brain 1 to 6 months after an adult bone marrow transplant demonstrates a remarkable plasticity of adult tissues with potential clinical applications.

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