Author(s): Zhang YW, Denham J, Thies RS
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Abstract Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) derived from human embryonic stem (hES) cells have been reported to remyelinate axons and improve locomotor function in a rodent model of spinal cord injury. Although remyelination would be expected to have a beneficial effect in spinal cord injury, neurotrophic factor expression may also contribute to functional recovery. Neurotrophic factors could impact the survival of axotomized neurons, as well as promote axonal regeneration in interrupted conduction pathways. This study demonstrates that hES cell-derived OPCs express functional levels of midkine, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), activin A, transforming growth factor-beta2 (TGF-beta2), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), proteins with reported trophic effects on neurons. The neurotrophic activity of hES cell-derived OPCs is further demonstrated by stimulatory effects on neurite outgrowth of adult rat sensory neurons in vitro.
This article was published in Stem Cells Dev
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy