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Neurobiol Dis. 2010 Oct;40(1):265-76. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2010.05.033. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Transplantation of TAT-Bcl-xL-transduced neural precursor cells: long-term neuroprotection after stroke.

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Department of Neurology, University of Goettingen Medical School, 37075 Goettingen, Germany.


Neural precursor cells (NPC) are an interesting tool in experimental stroke research, but their therapeutic potential is limited due to poor long-term survival. We therefore in vitro transduced subventricular zone-(SVZ)-derived NPC with the anti-apoptotic fusion protein TAT-Bcl-x(L) and analyzed NPC survival, differentiation, and post-stroke functional deficits after experimental ischemia in mice. Survival of TAT-Bcl-x(L)-transduced NPC, which were injected at day 7 post-stroke into the ischemic striatum, was significantly increased at 4 weeks after stroke. Increased survival of NPC was associated with reduced infarct injury and decreased post-stroke functional deficits. Animals grafted with TAT-Bcl-x(L)-transduced NPC showed an increased number of immature cells expressing the neuronal marker doublecortin. Since mature neuronal differentiation of NPC was not observed, reduced post-stroke injury cannot be attributed to enhanced neuronal regeneration, but rather to indirect by-stander effects of grafted NPC. In line with this, NPC-mediated neuroprotection of cortical neurons in vitro was associated with increased secretion of growth factors. Thus, in vitro transduction of cultivated NPC with TAT-Bcl-x(L) results in enhanced resistance of transplanted NPC followed by long-term neuroprotection and ameliorated functional deficits after transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice.

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