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Regen Med. 2010 May;5(3):381-94. doi: 10.2217/rme.10.24.

Isolation, characterization and preclinical development of human glial-restricted progenitor cells for treatment of neurological disorders.

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1
Q Therapeutics, Inc., 615 Arapeen Drive, Suite 102, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

Glial-restricted progenitor cells (GRPs), a neural cell population that gives rise to astrocytes and oligodendrocytes both in vitro and in vivo, hold great promise as a cellular therapeutic for the treatment of demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS. The manufacturing and characterization protocols of human-derived GRPs (hGRPs; trade name Q-Cells) for use in a clinical setting that adhere to rigorous standards for their isolation, propagation, characterization and storage are presented.

MATERIALS & METHODS:

hGRPs, defined by their immunoreactivity with A2B5 antibodies, were isolated from fetal cadaver forebrain tissue of mice 17-24 weeks gestational age using Miltenyi paramagnetic bead cell separation technology. GRPs were grown in a defined xenobiotic-free medium for 6 days. At harvest, hGRPs were characterized using immunocytochemical techniques. Long-term cryopreservation and storage conditions, and viability upon freeze-thaw were determined. The phenotypic differentiation potential of hGRPs was determined by implantation experiments into the CNS of shiverer mice.

RESULTS:

hGRPs were isolated from over 50 neural tissues of either sex during gestational ages of 17-24 weeks. Cells expanded out to 6 days in vitro in a xenobiotic-free medium demonstrated very consistent immunocytochemical profiles. No residual antibody used in the purification process was detected after 6 days of growth in vitro. GRPs could be frozen at up to 24 million cells/ml and were over 70% viable upon freeze-thaw. Thawed hGRPs transplanted into the brain of the dysmyelinated shiverer mouse model were observed to differentiate into both glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes and myelin basic protein-positive oligodendrocytes; no human-derived NeuN-positive neuronal cells were observed and no abnormal cell proliferation was observed.

CONCLUSION:

We demonstrate that hGRPs can be consistently obtained, propagated, cryopreserved and characterized using protocols that can be transferred to a good laboratory practice/good manufacturing practice setting for the manufacture of clinical-grade hGRP cellular therapeutics. Functional data demonstrate that cells manufactured under these conditions are able to differentiate into appropriate cellular phenotypes in an animal model of dysmyelination.

PMID:
20455649
DOI:
10.2217/rme.10.24
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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