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Are two brains better than one? Neural precursors form brain-like tissue when implanted in cerebral spinal fluid

Thursday, September 17, 2015 — Poster Session III

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FAES Terrace
NINDS
DIR-10

Authors

  • N Pothayee
  • D Maric
  • K Sharer
  • S Cheng
  • A Calac
  • A Koretsky

Abstract

There is much interest in transplanting neural precursors as treatment for a number of neurological disorders and stroke. Most studies have transplanted cells into specific sites in brain tissue. Here we show that rodent embryonic cortical precursor cells thrive and develop into brain-like tissue when transplanted into cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) of adult rodents. These cells proliferate and expand over a period of weeks to form tissue structures that occupy the CSF space without noticeable adverse effects on the animal health and behaviors. Immunohistology and electron microscopy indicate that the tissue has integrated with the host brain and has differentiated into normal cell phenotypes. The host supplies the vasculature including an intact blood brain barrier and interneurons to this brain-like tissue. Interestingly, we find clear evidence of projections from the host to this new brain tissue and vice versa. There are extensive synaptic connections throughout the tissue. These findings open the door to potentially asking the age-old question of whether two brains are indeed better than one!

Category: Institute, Center, and Scientific Directors