Hippocampus-derived neurospheres were prepared from transgenic rat fetuses expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP), and transplanted into an alginate-filled lesion of young rat spinal cord. One, two and four weeks after transplantation, a large number of grafted cells survived, many of which expressed immunoreactivity for glial fibrillary acidic protein, and a few expressed immunoreactivity for β-tubulin III. The grafted cells closely attached to the host tissue including astrocytes at the border of the lesion. It was notable that numerous GFP-positive cells had migrated within host spinal cord tissue up to 2 mm away from the implanted site 4 weeks postoperation. These results demonstrate that rat fetal hippocampus-derived neurosphere cells could survive, differentiate, extensively migrate, and integrate well into the host spinal cord tissue.
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