Abstract: Central neurons are highly vulnerable to injury and have limited ability to regenerate. Therefore, transplantation of exogenous neuronal progenitor cells has been considered a potential therapy for the restoration of lost neurons and associated brain function. In a previous study, we found that when injected into rat brain following focal ischemia, cortical neuronal progenitor cells cultured from mouse brain can migrate into ischemic areas and differentiate into cells with morphological and biochemical features of neurons. However, no direct electrophysiological evidence was provided to indicate that these cells become functional neurons in vivo. In this study, we measured the electrophysiological properties of neuronal progenitor cells from embryonic mouse cerebral cortex, both in cell culture and in rat brain slices following intracerebral injection. We demonstrate that some of these cells differentiate to express electrophysiological properties expected of mature neurons, including tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ channels and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor channels. These results support the feasibility of cell-replacement therapy for stroke using exogenous neuronal progenitors
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