Abstract Objectives: The aim of present study is to investigate more functional neural stem cells (NSCs) could be isolated from brains with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and expanded in vitro, based on previous reports demonstrating de novo neurogenesis is enhanced to replace degenerating neural tissue. Methods: Thirteen- or eighteen-week-old mutant human Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1G93A) transgenic ALS and wild-type SOD1 transgenic control mice were utilized. Changes in numbers of NSCs in the dentate gyrus were analyzed by immunohistochemistry against nestin and CD133. NSCs were primarily cultured from hippocampus of ALS or control mice. Expression of NSC markers, in vitro expansion capacity, and differentiating potential were compared. Results: Hippocampus of 13-week-old pre-symptomatic ALS mice harbor more cells that can be propagated for more than 12 passages in vitro, compared with same age control mice. Primarily-cultured cells formed neurospheres in the NSC culture medium, expressed NSC markers, and differentiated into cells with differentiated neural cell characteristics in the differentiation condition confirming that they are NSCs. In contrast, long-term expansible NSCs could not be derived from brains of 18-week-old symptomatic ALS mice with the same experimental techniques, although they had comparable nestin-immunoreactive cells in the dentate gyrus. Discussion: These results would suggest that increased neuroregeneration in early phase of ALS could be translated to regenerative approaches; however, long-term exposure to ALS microenvironments could abolish functional capacities of NSCs.
J. Lee, Younggeon Jin, Juyoun Jin