Long-Term Stimulation of Neural Progenitor Cell Migration After Cortical Ischemia in Mice

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

Cortical ischemia induces neural progenitor cell migration toward the injury site; however, whether these cells are capable of maintaining the migratory response for a longer period after injury remains uncertain.

Methods—

We analyzed progenitor migration up to 1 year after induction of photothrombotic stroke to the mouse neocortex. Migrating progenitors identified as doublecortin positive cells (DCX+) were assessed using the immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. The thymidine analogues chlorodeoxyuridine and iododeoxyuridine were used to birth-date the progenitor cells.

Results—

In the striatum, we detected elevated numbers of DCX+ cells up to 6 weeks postlesion. In the corpus callosum and the peri-infarct cortex (Ctx), DCX+ cell numbers were increased up to 1 year. The orientation of the migrating progenitors was mostly aligned with the corpus callosum fiber tract at all time points; however, in the Ctx, they aligned parallel to the infarct border. The injured cortex continuously receives new progenitors up to 1 year after lesion. Cells born after lesion did not become mature neurons, although a portion of the migrating progenitors showed initial signs of differentiation into neurons.

Conclusions—

Neural progenitors might have a role in brain plasticity after cortical stroke, especially considering the prolonged window of migratory responses of up to 1 year after stroke lesion.

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