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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Mar 31;95(7):3908-13.

Engraftment and migration of human bone marrow stromal cells implanted in the brains of albino rats--similarities to astrocyte grafts.

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Department of Neurology, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Broad and Vine Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.


Neurotransplantation has been used to explore the development of the central nervous system and for repair of diseased tissue in conditions such as Parkinson's disease. Here, we examine the effects of direct injection into rat brain of human marrow stromal cells (MSCs), a subset of cells from bone marrow that include stem-like precursors for nonhematopoietic tissues. Human MSCs isolated by their adherence to plastic were infused into the corpus striatum. Five to 72 days later, brain sections were examined for the presence of the donor cells. About 20% of the infused cells had engrafted. There was no evidence of an inflammatory response or rejection. The cells had migrated from the injection site along known pathways for migration of neural stem cells to successive layers of the brain. After infusion into the brain, the human MSCs lost their immunoreactivity to antibodies for collagen I. Initially, the human cells continued to stain with antibodies to fibronectin but the region of staining with fibronectin was significantly decreased at 30 and 72 days. The results suggest that MSCs may be useful vehicles for autotransplantation in both cell and gene therapy for a variety of diseases of the central nervous system.

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