Developmental Changes of Human Neural Progenitor Cells Grafted into the Ventricular System and Prefrontal Cortex of Mouse Brain in Utero


The transplantation of neural progenitors into a host brain represents a useful tool to evaluate the involvement of cell-autonomous processes and host local cues in the regulation of neuronal differentiation during the development of the mammalian brain. Human brain development starts at the embryonic stages, in utero, with unique properties at its neotenic stages. We analyzed the engraftment and differentiation of human neuronal progenitor cells (hNPCs) transplanted in utero into the mouse brain. The influence of the environment was studied by transplanting human NPCs within the lateral ventricles (LV), compared with the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of immunocompetent mice. We developed a semi-automated method to accurately quantify the number of cell bodies and the distribution of neuronal projections among the different mouse brain structures, at 1 and 3 months post-transplantation (MPT). Our data show that human NPCs can differentiate between immature "juvenile" neurons and more mature pyramidal cells in a reproducible manner. Depending on the injection site, LV vs. PFC, specific fetal local environments could modify the synaptogenesis processes while maintaining human neoteny. The use of immunocompetent mice as host species allows us to investigate further neuropathological conditions making use of all of the engineered mouse models already available.

Authors Llach Pou M, Thiberge C, Van der Zwan M, Devi Govindan A, Pons S, Maskos U, Cloëz-Tayarani I
Journal Cells
Publication Date 2023 Mar 31;12(7)
PubMed 37048140
PubMed Central PMC10093207
DOI 10.3390/cells12071067

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