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Int Immunopharmacol. 2003 Jul;3(7):1027-39.

Effect of a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, Ren-Shen-Yang-Rong-Tang (Japanese name: Ninjin-Youei-To), on oligodendrocyte precursor cells from aged-rat brain.

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Department of Neuro-cell Biology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, 35-2 Sakaecho, Tokyo Itabashi 173-0015, Japan.


Understanding of oligodendrocyte precursor cells and their role in the generation of oligodendrocytes in developing and adult rodents has been considered, particularly much less is known about aged-rodent oligodendrocyte precursor cells and their cell lineage. In this present study, we have developed oligodendrocyte cultures from the 30-month-old rat brain and examined whether oligodendrocyte precursor cells can proliferate in vitro. Adult oligodendrocyte precursor cells (O1(-), O4(+)) and oligodendrocytes (O1(+), O4(+)) are present in the cultures of the 30-month-old rat brain. They are also capable of proliferating and differentiating in the cultures. These capabilities increased four- to fivefold, when the aged rats are treated with Ninjin-Youei-To for 3 months in comparison with those of control aged rats. These results suggest that Ninjin-Youei-To has a potential mitotic effect on oligodendrocyte precursor cells in aged-rat brains and may be expected to have a therapeutic effect on brain aging.

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