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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Dec 13;102(50):18171-6. Epub 2005 Dec 5.

Human stem/progenitor cells from bone marrow promote neurogenesis of endogenous neural stem cells in the hippocampus of mice.

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Center for Gene Therapy, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Feb 7;103(6):2000-2.


Stem/progenitor cells from bone marrow and other sources have been shown to repair injured tissues by differentiating into tissue-specific phenotypes, by secreting chemokines, and, in part, by cell fusion. Here we prepared the stem/progenitor cells from human bone marrow (MSCs) and implanted athem into the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of immunodeficient mice. The implanted human MSCs markedly increased the proliferation of endogenous neural stem cells that expressed the stem cell marker Sox2. Labeling of the mice with BrdUrd demonstrated that, 7 days after implantation of the human MSCs, BrdUrd-labeled endogenous cells migrated throughout the dorsal hippocampus (positive for doublecortin) and expressed markers for astrocytes and for neural or oligodendrocyte progenitors. Subpopulations of BrdUrd-labeled cells exhibited short cytoplasmic processes immunoreactive for nerve growth factor and VEGF. By 30 days after implantation, the newly generated cells expressed markers for more mature neurons and astrocytes. Also, subpopulations of BrdUrd-labeled cells exhibited elaborate processes immunoreactive for ciliary neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-4/5, nerve growth factor, or VEGF. Therefore, implantation of human MSCs stimulated proliferation, migration, and differentiation of the endogenous neural stem cells that survived as differentiated neural cells. The results provide a paradigm to explain recent observations in which MSCs or related stem/progenitor cells were found to produce improvements in disease models even though a limited number of the cells engrafted.

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