Differential pathotropism of non-immortalized and immortalized human neural stem cell lines in a focal demyelination model

Daniela Ferrari, Cristina Zalfa, Laura Rota Nodari, Maurizio Gelati, Luigi Carlessi, Domenico Delia, Angelo Luigi Vescovi, Lidia De Filippis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Cell therapy is reaching the stage of phase I clinical trials for post-traumatic, post-ischemic, or neurodegenerative disorders, and the selection of the appropriate cell source is essential. In order to assess the capacity of different human neural stem cell lines (hNSC) to contribute to neural tissue regeneration and to reduce the local inflammation after an acute injury, we transplanted GMP grade non-immortalized hNSCs and v-myc (v-IhNSC), c-myc T58A (T-IhNSC) immortalized cells into the corpus callosum of adult rats after 5 days from focal demyelination induced by lysophosphatidylcholine. At 15 days from transplantation, hNSC and T-IhNSC migrated to the lesioned area where they promoted endogenous remyelination and differentiated into mature oligodendrocytes, while the all three cell lines were able to integrate in the SVZ. Moreover, where demyelination was accompanied by an inflammatory reaction, a significant reduction of microglial cells activation was observed. This effect correlated with a differential migratory pattern of transplanted hNSC and IhNSC, significantly enhanced in the former, thus suggesting a specific NSC-mediated immunomodulatory effect on the local inflammation. We provide evidence that, in the subacute phase of a demyelination injury, different human immortalized and non-immortalized NSC lines, all sharing homing to the stem niche, display a differential pathotropism, both through cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous effects. Overall, these findings promote IhNSC as an inexhaustible cell source for large-scale preclinical studies and non-immortalized GMP grade hNSC lines as an efficacious, safe, and reliable therapeutic tool for future clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1210
Number of pages18
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Fetal Human Neural Stem Cells
  • Immunomodulation
  • Lysophosphatidylcoline
  • Re-myelination
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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