Cell transplantation

Neuronal Cell Sheets of Cortical Motor Neuron Phenotype Derived from Human iPSCs.

PMID 28901192


Transplantation of stem cells that differentiate into more mature neural cells brings about functional improvement in preclinical studies of stroke. Previous transplant approaches in the diseased brain utilized injection of the cells in a cell suspension. In addition, neural stem cells were preferentially used for grafting. However, these cells had no specific relationship to the damaged tissue of stroke and brain injury patients. The injection of cells in a suspension destroyed the cell-cell interactions that are suggested to be important for promoting functional integrity of cortical motor neurons. In order to obtain suitable cell types for grafting in patients with stroke and brain damage, a protocol was modified for differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells from cells phenotypically related to cortical motor neurons. Moreover, cell sheet technology was applied to neural cell transplantation, as maintaining the cell-cell communications is regarded important for the repair of host brain architecture. Accordingly, neuronal cell sheets that were positive Forebrain Embryonic Zinc Finger (Fez) family zinc finger 2 (FEZF2), COUP-TF-interacting protein 2, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 4 (IGFBP4), cysteine-rich motor neuron 1 protein precursor (CRIM1), and forkhead box p2 (FOXP2) were developed. These markers are associated with cortical motoneurons that are appropriate for the transplant location in the lesions. The sheets allowed preservation of cell-cell interactions shown by synapsin1 staining after transplantation to damaged mouse brains. The sheet transplantation brought about partial structural restoration and the improvement of motor functions in hemiplegic mice. Collectively, the novel neuronal cell sheets were transplanted into damaged motor cortices; the cell sheets maintained cell-cell interactions and improved the motor functions in the hemiplegic model mice. The motoneuron cell sheets are possibly applicable for stroke patients and patients with brain damage by using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells.