Author(s): Guillemain I, Alonso G, Patey G, Privat A, Chaudieu I
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Abstract The NT2 cell line, which was derived from a human teratocarcinoma, exhibits properties that are characteristic of a committed neuronal precursor at an early stage of development. NT2 cells can be induced by retinoic acid to differentiate in vitro into postmitotic central nervous system (CNS) neurons (NT2-N cells). The commitment of NT2-N cells to a stable neuronal phenotype is irreversible. Because it may be possible to transplant these human neurons to compensate for neuronal loss after traumatic injuries or neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS, knowledge of their phenotype is essential. This study aimed to characterize in detail the neurotransmission phenotype of NT2-N cells by using immunocytochemical methods. Single peroxidase immunostaining demonstrated that NT2-N cells expressed the gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic), catecholaminergic, and cholinergic phenotypes to a large extent and expressed the serotonergic phenotype to a minor extent. NT2-N cells also expressed different neuropeptides, such as neuropeptide Y, oxytocin, vasopressin, calcitonin gene-related peptide, and Met- and Leu-enkephalin. Double fluorescence immunostaining further indicated that a large number of NT2-N cells could express GABA and another neurotransmitter or neuropeptide at the same time. Finally, electron microscopy demonstrated that these NT2 neurons elaborate classical synaptic contacts. The multipotentiality of these neurons, combined with their apparent functionality, suggests that they may represent useful material for a variety of therapeutic approaches aimed at replacing dead neurons after neurodegenerative diseases or lesions of the CNS. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in J Comp Neurol
and referenced in Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research