Cell replacement therapies offer promise in the treatment of neurotrauma and neurodegenerative disorders and have concentrated on the use of primary fetal brain tissue. However, there is a growing promise of using neural stem cells, in which case other factors may be important in their successful engraftment. We therefore investigated whether the co-expression of the major developmental transcription factor (Pax7 in this study) of donor tissue to graft site influences transplant survival and differentiation in the rat midbrain. Neural progenitor cells were prepared from either the Pax7-expressing dorsal (DM) or non-Pax7-expressing ventral mesencephalon (VM) of embryonic EGFP+/+ rats. Cells were dissociated and grafted into the adult rat superior colliculus (SC) lesioned with quinolinic acid 3 days previously, a time shown to be associated with the up-regulation of Pax7. Grafts were then examined 4 weeks later. Our results suggest the origin of the graft tissue did not alter graft survival in the SC; however, dorsal grafts appear to have a higher incidence of neuronal survival, whereas ventral grafts have a higher incidence of astrocytic survivors
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