Effects of Neural Progenitor Cells on Sensorimotor Recovery and Endogenous Repair Mechanisms After Photothrombotic Stroke
Background and Purpose—Intravenous neural progenitor cell (NPC) treatment was shown to improve functional recovery after experimental stroke. The underlying mechanisms, however, are not completely understood so far. Here, we investigated the effects of systemic NPC transplantation on endogenous neurogenesis and dendritic plasticity of host neurons.
Methods—Twenty-four hours after photothrombotic ischemia, adult rats received either 5 million NPC or placebo intravenously. Behavioral tests were performed weekly up to 4 weeks after ischemia. Endogenous neurogenesis, dendritic length, and dendritic branching of cortical pyramid cells and microglial activation were quantified.
Results—NPC treatment led to a significantly improved sensorimotor function measured by the adhesive removal test. The dendritic length and the amount of branch points were significantly increased after NPC transplantation, whereas endogenous neurogenesis was decreased compared to placebo therapy. Decreased endogenous neurogenesis was associated with an increased number of activated microglial cells.
Conclusions—Our findings suggest that an increased dendritic plasticity might be the structural basis of NPC-induced functional recovery. The decreased endogenous neurogenesis after NPC treatment seems to be mediated by microglial activation.
- Received August 6, 2010.
- Accepted January 19, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.