NG2 expressing cells in hippocampal cultures survive neurotoxic insult and retain the ability to divide
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It has been recently proposed that NG2 proteoglycan expressing cells may stand for a unique class of glia in adult CNS referred to as oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). These NG2 positive cells can give rise to mature oligodendrocytes, however a large number of them persists in immature stage throughout a lifetime and responds to various types of injury. In order to investigate OPCs reactivity in vitro, a model of trimethyltin evoked neurodegeneration was used. The results demonstrate that NG2 expressing cells survive treatment with the neurotoxin in a concentration that injures most of neurons in the culture. Moreover, progenitors change their morphology when treated with trimethyltin, upregulate the NG2 proteoglycan expression and retain the ability to divide.
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Karola Dzwonek, Laboratory of Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration and Neuroprotection, Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, 3 Pasteur St., 02-093 Warsaw, Poland