Central nervous system stem/progenitor cells form neurons and peripheral glia after transplantation to the dorsal root ganglion

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We asked whether neural stem/progenitor cells from the cerebral cortex of E14.5 enhanced green fluorescent protein transgenic mice are able to survive grafting and differentiate in the adult rat dorsal root ganglion. Neurospheres were placed in lumbar dorsal root ganglion cavities after removal of the dorsal root ganglia. Alternatively, dissociated neurospheres were injected into intact dorsal root ganglia. Enhanced green fluorescent protein-positive cells in the dorsal root ganglion cavity were located in clusters and expressed β-III-tubulin or glial fibrillary acidic protein after 1 month, whereas after 3 months, surviving grafted cells expressed only glial fibrillary acidic protein. In the intact adult DRG, transplanted neural stem/progenitor cells surrounded dorsal root ganglion cells and fibers, and expressed glial but not neuronal markers. These findings show that central nervous system stem/progenitor cells can survive and differentiate into neurons and peripheral glia after xenotransplantation to the adult dorsal root ganglion.

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