Image_2_Transplantation of Embryonic Neural Stem Cells and Differentiated Cells in a Controlled Cortical Impact (CCI) Model of Adult Mouse Somatosensory Cortex.TIF

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death worldwide. Depending on the severity of the injury, TBI can reflect a broad range of consequences such as speech impairment, memory disturbances, and premature death. In this study, embryonic neural stem cells (ENSC) were isolated from E14 mouse embryos and cultured to produce neurospheres which were induced to generate differentiated cells (DC). As a cell replacement treatment option, we aimed to transplant ENSC or DC into the adult injured C57BL/6 mouse cortex controlled cortical impact (CCI) model, 7 days post-trauma, in comparison to saline injection (control). The effect of grafted cells on neuroinflammation and neurogenesis was investigated at 1 and 4 weeks post-transplantation. Results showed that microglia were activated following mild CCI, but not enhanced after engraftment of ENSC or DC. Indeed, ipsilateral lesioned somatosensory area expressed high levels of Iba-1+ microglia within the different groups after 1 and 4 weeks. On the other hand, treatment with ENSC or DC demonstrated a significant reduction in astrogliosis. The levels of GFAP expressing astrocytes started decreasing early (1 week) in the ENSC group and then were similarly low at 4 weeks in both ENSC and DC. Moreover, neurogenesis was significantly enhanced in ENSC and DC groups. Indeed, a significant increase in the number of DCX expressing progenitor cells was observed at 1 week in the ENSC group, and in DC and ENSC groups at 4 weeks. Furthermore, the number of mature neuronal cells (NeuN+) significantly increased in DC group at 4 weeks whereas they decreased in ENSC group at 1 week. Therefore, injection of ENSC or DC post-CCI caused decreased astrogliosis and suggested an increased neurogenesis via inducing neural progenitor proliferation and expression rather than neuronal maturation. Thus, ENSC may play a role in replacing lost cells and brain repair following TBI by improving neurogenesis and reducing neuroinflammation, reflecting an optimal environment for transplanted and newly born cells.