Journal Article

Focal laser-lesions activate an endogenous population of neural stem/progenitor cells in the adult visual cortex

Swetlana Sirko, Angela Neitz, Thomas Mittmann, Andrea Horvat-Bröcker, Alexander von Holst, Ulf T. Eysel and Andreas Faissner

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 132, issue 8, pages 2252-2264
Published in print August 2009 | ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awp043
Focal laser-lesions activate an endogenous population of neural stem/progenitor cells in the adult visual cortex

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CNS lesions stimulate adult neurogenic niches. Endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells represent a potential resource for CNS regeneration. Here, we investigate the response to unilateral focal laser-lesions applied to the visual cortex of juvenile rats. Within 3 days post-lesion, an ipsilateral increase of actively cycling cells was observed in cortical layer one and in the callosal white matter within the lesion penumbra. The cells expressed the neural stem/progenitor cell marker Nestin and the 473HD-epitope. Tissue prepared from the lesion area by micro-dissection generated self-renewing, multipotent neurospheres, while cells from the contralateral visual cortex did not. The newly formed neural stem/progenitor cells in the lesion zone might support neurogenesis, as suggested by the expression of Pax6 and Doublecortin, a marker of newborn neurons. We propose that focal laser-lesions may induce the emergence of stem/progenitor cells with neurogenic potential. This could underlie the beneficial effects of laser application in neurosurgery.

Keywords: stem cells; cortical reorganisation; neural plasticity; brain lesions; neural repair

Journal Article.  7026 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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