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Neuroreport. 2001 Dec 21;12(18):4003-7.

Amniotic epithelial cells transform into neuron-like cells in the ischemic brain.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Hongo 2-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan.


We investigated the potential use of rat amniotic epithelial (RAE) cells as donor cells for transplantation-based therapy in brain ischemia. In vitro, RAE cells were positive for both neuronal and neural stem cell markers, neurofilament microtubule-associated protein 2 and nestin. RT-PCR revealed that these cells express nestin mRNA. The RAE cells were transplanted into the hippocampus of adult gerbils that were subjected to temporal occlusion of bilateral carotid arteries. Five weeks after transplantation, grafted cells migrated into the CA1 pyramidal layer that showed selective neuronal death, and survived in a manner similar to CA1 pyramidal neurons. These results suggest that intracerebral transplantation of amniotic epithelial cells may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of ischemic damage in neuronal disorders.

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