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FASEB J. 2005 Nov;19(13):1860-2. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

Multipotentiality, homing properties, and pyramidal neurogenesis of CNS-derived LeX(ssea-1)+/CXCR4+ stem cells.

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Dino Ferrari Centre, Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Milan, IRCCS Foundation, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli and Regina Elena, Milan, Italy.


Achieving efficient distribution of neural stem cells throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and robust generation of specific neurons is a major challenge for the development of cell-mediated therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. We isolated a primitive neural stem cell subset, double positive for LeX(Le) and CXCR4(CX) antigens that possesses CNS homing potential and extensive neuronal repopulating capacity. Le+CX+ cells are multipotential and can generate neurons as well as myogenic and endothelial cells. In vivo Le+CX+ cells displayed widespread incorporation and differentiated into cortical and hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Since intravenous delivery could be a less invasive route of transplantation, we investigated whether Le+CX+ cells could migrate across endothelial monolayers. Intracerebral coadministration of SDF enabled migration of intravenously injected Le+CX+ cells into the CNS and a small, yet significant, number of donor cells differentiated into neurons. The isolation of a specific neural stem cell population could offer major advantages to neuronal replacement strategies.

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