Substantial migration of SVZ cells to the cortex results in the generation of new neurons in the excitotoxically damaged immature rat brain

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Abstract

Mammalian SVZ progenitors continuously generate new neurons in the olfactory bulb. After injury, changes in SVZ cell number suggest injury-induced migration. Studies that trace the migration of SVZ precursors into neurodegenerating areas are lacking. Previously, we showed a decrease in BrdU+SVZ cells following excitotoxic damage to the immature rat cortex. Here, we demonstrate that NMDA-induced injury forces endogenous Cell Tracker Green (CTG) labeled VZ/SVZ precursors out of the SVZ into the neurodegenerating cortex. CTG+/Nestin+/Filamin A+ precursors are closely associated with vimentin+/GFAP+/GLAST+ filaments and express both chemokine receptor CXCR4 and Robo1. In the cortex, SVZ-derived progenitors show a progressive expression of developing, migrating and mature neurons and glial markers. CTG+/GFAP+ astrocytes greatly outnumber CTG+/MAP2+/NeuN+ neurons. SVZ-derived progenitors differentiate into both tbr1+ cortical glutamatergic neurons and calretinin+ interneurons. But, there is little integration of these neurons into the existing circuitry, as seen by Fluorogold retrograde tracing from the internal capsule.

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