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Exp Neurol. 2009 Apr;216(2):520-4. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2008.12.023. Epub 2009 Jan 7.

In vitro priming to direct neuronal fate in adult neural progenitor cells.

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Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.


We have previously reported methods that allow for the routine isolation, culture and transplantation of multipotent neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from the adult rat sub-ventricular zone (SVZ). In order to expand these techniques, the aim of the current study was to develop an in vitro strategy which can "prime" proliferating adult NPCs towards a neuronal fate during their subsequent differentiation under standard conditions. Our results show that transient exposure to lithium chloride during in vitro proliferation of adult SVZ-derived NPCs has the ability to alter differential fate in vitro and increase the proportion of cells expressing neuronal markers while at the same time causing a reduction in glial progeny. Treatment of adult NPCs with lithium chloride may therefore provide a novel mechanism by which adult NPCs can be primed towards a specific neuronal fate for cell replacement therapy.

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