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Nat Biotechnol. 2002 Nov;20(11):1111-7. Epub 2002 Oct 15.

The injured brain interacts reciprocally with neural stem cells supported by scaffolds to reconstitute lost tissue.

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Department of Pediatrics, Pharmacology, and Brain, Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, 120-752, Korea.


Hypoxic-ischemic injury is a prototype for insults characterized by extensive tissue loss. Seeding neural stem cells (NSCs) onto a polymer scaffold that was subsequently implanted into the infarction cavities of mouse brains injured by hypoxia-ischemia allowed us to observe the multiple reciprocal interactions that spontaneously ensue between NSCs and the extensively damaged brain: parenchymal loss was dramatically reduced, an intricate meshwork of many highly arborized neurites of both host- and donor-derived neurons emerged, and some anatomical connections appeared to be reconstituted. The NSC-scaffold complex altered the trajectory and complexity of host cortical neurites. Reciprocally, donor-derived neurons were seemingly capable of directed, target-appropriate neurite outgrowth (extending axons to the opposite hemisphere) without specific external instruction, induction, or genetic manipulation of host brain or donor cells. These "biobridges" appeared to unveil or augment a constitutive reparative response by facilitating a series of reciprocal interactions between NSC and host, including promoting neuronal differentiation, enhancing the elaboration of neural processes, fostering the re-formation of cortical tissue, and promoting connectivity. Inflammation and scarring were also reduced, facilitating reconstitution.

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