Sankavaram SR, Hakim R, Covacu R, Frostell A, Neumann S, Svensson M, Brundin L
Stem Cell Reports 12 (5) 950-966 [2019-05-14; online 2019-04-25]
Long-term survival and integration of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) transplanted following spinal cord injury (SCI) have been observed. However, questions concerning the differentiation choice, the mechanism of action, and the contribution of NPCs to functional recovery remains unanswered. Therefore, we investigated the differentiation of NPCs, global transcriptomal changes in transplanted NPCs, the effect of NPCs on neuroinflammation, and the causality between NPC transplantation and functional recovery. We found that NPCs transplanted following SCI differentiate mainly into oligodendrocytes and enhance myelination, upregulate genes related to synaptic signaling and mitochondrial activity, and downregulate genes related to cytokine production and immune system response. NPCs suppress the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines; moreover, NPC ablation confirm that NPCs were responsible for enhanced recovery in hindlimb locomotor function. Understanding the reaction of transplanted NPCs is important for exploiting their full potential. Existence of causality implies that NPCs are useful in the treatment of SCI.