Release of Growth Factors by Neuronal Precursor Cells as a treatment for diseases with tau pathology.

Maria Grazia Spillantini, Mariangela Iovino, Romina Vuono


The intraneuronal accumulation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in ahyperphosphorylated state and the extracellular deposit of ß-amyloid proteinconstitute the defining neuropathological signature of Alzheimer’s disease, themost common type of dementia in ageing Homo sapiens.There is accumulating evidence suggesting that transplantation of embryonic and adult-derived neuronal precursor cells (NPCs) has a major role for cell based repair strategies in models of acute and chronic injury. In order to determine whether NPCs could rescue tau-related neuronal cell death NPCs were transplanted into the transgenic mouse cortex of transgenic mice expressing human P301S tau protein at 2 month of age and the effect followed 2 and 3 months after transplantation. The results demonstrated that following transplantation mouse NPCs differentiated into astrocytes and exerted a neuroprotective effect. In particular, the expression of ciliary neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor was increased near the transplanted cells. A non-significant increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression was instead found in the area of the cortex where neuronal death was rescued.

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