Sugaya K, Qu T (2002) Stem cell transplantation strategies for a lesion model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscience 2002 Abstracts 237.1. Society for Neuroscience, Orlando, FL.
Summary: Stem cell transplantation strategies are advocated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuroregeneration therapy. Since basal cholinergic neurons, which selectively degenerate in AD, extend long projections into the cortex and hippocampus, a stumbling block for neuroreplacement treatment in AD is whether these degenerating cholinergic cells can be replaced by the transplantation of stem cells. To answer this question, we transplanted human neural stem cells (HNSCs) into nucleus basalis magnocelluerlis (NBM) lesion model rats. The lesion was induced either by an injection of ibotenic acid or by anti-NGF receptor antibody conjugated with saporin. HNSCs were labeled by the incorporation of bromodeoxy uridine (BrdU) into the nuclei and simultaneously injected into the contralateral side of the lateral ventricle (Qu, 2001) of the NBM lesioned animal. Four weeks after the surgery, the brain was examined by immunohistochemistry for choline acetyl transferase (ChAT), βIII-tubulin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and BrdU. We detected many GFAP-positive cells in the lesion area, but they were not BrdU-positive, indicating astrocytes activation in this area. We found BrdU-positive cells with ChAT or βIII-tubulin immunoreactivity in the lesion site, indicating that HNSCs migrated to the lesion site and had differentiated into cholinergic and other neuronal cells. These neuronally differentiating HNSCs were rather morphologically premature neurons, and although we have yet to confirm the physiological function or any projections into the hippocampus or cortex, our results could indicate that we have pioneered a positive study of neuroreplacement treatment for cholinergic neurons in AD.
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