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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57430. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057430. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Overexpression of CD44 in neural precursor cells improves trans-endothelial migration and facilitates their invasion of perivascular tissues in vivo.

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Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière, UMR-S975, Paris, France.


Neural precursor (NPC) based therapies are used to restore neurons or oligodendrocytes and/or provide neuroprotection in a large variety of neurological diseases. In multiple sclerosis models, intravenously (i.v) -delivered NPCs reduced clinical signs via immunomodulation. We demonstrated recently that NPCs were able to cross cerebral endothelial cells in vitro and that the multifunctional signalling molecule, CD44 involved in trans-endothelial migration of lymphocytes to sites of inflammation, plays a crucial role in extravasation of syngeneic NPCs. In view of the role of CD44 in NPCs trans-endothelial migration in vitro, we questioned presently the benefit of CD44 overexpression by NPCs in vitro and in vivo, in EAE mice. We show that overexpression of CD44 by NPCs enhanced over 2 folds their trans-endothelial migration in vitro, without impinging on the proliferation or differentiation potential of the transduced cells. Moreover, CD44 overexpression by NPCs improved significantly their elongation, spreading and number of filopodia over the extracellular matrix protein laminin in vitro. We then tested the effect of CD44 overexpression after i.v. delivery in the tail vein of EAE mice. CD44 overexpression was functional invivo as it accelerated trans-endothelial migration and facilitated invasion of HA expressing perivascular sites. These in vitro and in vivo data suggest that CD44 may be crucial not only for NPC crossing the endothelial layer but also for facilitating invasion of extravascular tissues.

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