We have previously established a culture method to isolate and cultivate neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from the rat embryonic brain and spinal cord. In the present study, we demonstrate that the spinal cord-derived NSCs can be induced to differentiate into oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) with a combined treatment composed of (1) conditioned medium collected from B104 neuroblastoma cells (B104CM) and (2) basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, 10 ng/ml). After induction, over 95% of the cells displayed bipolar or tri-polar morphology and expressed A2B5 and platelet derived growth factor receptor-alpha (PDGFR-alpha), markers that are specific for OPCs. Among PDGFR-alpha positive OPCs, only a few cells expressed glia fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and none expressed beta-tubulin III. In the presence of B104CM and bFGF, OPCs proliferated rapidly, formed spheres, expanded for multiple passages, and maintained their phenotypic properties. Upon withdrawal of B104CM and bFGF, these cells differentiated into either O4/GlaC-positive oligodendrocytes (OLs) or GFAP- and A2B5-positive type-2 astrocytes. Our results indicate that NSCs can be induced to differentiate into OPCs that possess properties of self-renewal and differentiation into oligodendrocytes and type-2 astrocytes, a property similar to that of O-2A progenitor cells. The OPCs can be maintained in an undifferentiated state over multiple divisions as long as both B104CM and bFGF are present in the medium. Thus, large quantity of OPCs can be obtained through this method for potential therapeutical interventions for various neurological degenerative diseases.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Sheng li xue bao : [Acta physiologica Sinica]|
|State||Published - Apr 25 2005|
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