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Cell Transplant. 1997 May-Jun;6(3):339-46.

MAP2 expression in the developing human fetal spinal cord and following xenotransplantation.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Gainesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Florida College of Medicine, 32610, USA.


Human fetal spinal cord (FSC) tissue was obtained from elective abortions at 6-14 wk gestational age (GA). The specimens were then either immediately processed for immunohistochemical analysis or xenotransplantation. In the latter case, donor tissue was prepared as a dissociated cell suspension and then introduced either subpially or intraspinally into contusion lesions of the adult rat midthoracic spinal cord. The xenografts were subsequently examined by conventional histological and immunohistochemical methods at 2-3 mo postgrafting. Immunostaining showed that MAP2 was expressed heavily in cells residing in the mantle layer of the human fetal spinal cord in situ as early as 6 wk GA. Subpial and intraparenchymal xenografts also were intensely immunoreactive for MAP2, but no staining of surrounding host neural tissue was detected. We conclude that the differential expression of MAP2 can be used to distinguish human graft tissue from the surrounding rat spinal cord in this xenograft paradigm. Under appropriate staining conditions, MAP2 can thus serve to facilitate analyses of host-graft integration, donor cell migration, and neuritic outgrowth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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