Adult human hematopoietic stem cells produce neurons efficiently in the regenerating chicken embryo spinal cord

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Olafur E SigurjonssonJoel C Glover


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have been proposed as a potential source of neural cells for use in repairing brain lesions, but previous studies indicate a low rate of neuronal differentiation and have not provided definite evidence of neuronal phenotype. To test the neurogenic potential of human HSCs, we implanted CD34+ HSCs from adult human bone marrow into lesions of the developing spinal cord in the chicken embryo and followed their differentiation by using immunohistochemistry, retrograde labeling, and electrophysiology. We find that human cells derived from the implanted population express the neuronal markers NeuN and MAP2 at substantially higher rates than previously reported. We also find that these cells exhibit neuronal cytoarchitecture, extend axons into the ventral roots or several segments in length within the spinal white matter, are decorated with synaptotagmin+ and GABA+ synaptic terminals, and exhibit active membrane properties and spontaneous synaptic potentials characteristic of functionally integrated neurons. Neuronal differentiation is accompanied by loss of CD34 expression. Careful examination with confocal microscopy reveals no signs of heterokaryons, and human cells never express a chicken-specific an...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

MAP2 protein, human
Cell Differentiation Process
Chick Embryo
Colony-Forming Units, Hematopoietic
Microtubule-Associated Protein 3
Nerve Regeneration
Nerve Tissue Proteins
Spinal Cord
Post-Traumatic Myelopathy

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