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From Marrow to Brain: Expression of Neuronal Phenotypes in Adult Mice

Science  01 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5497, pp. 1775-1779
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5497.1775

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Abstract

After intravascular delivery of genetically marked adult mouse bone marrow into lethally irradiated normal adult hosts, donor-derived cells expressing neuronal proteins (neuronal phenotypes) developed in the central nervous system. Flow cytometry revealed a population of donor-derived cells in the brain with characteristics distinct from bone marrow. Confocal microscopy of individual cells showed that hundreds of marrow-derived cells in brain sections expressed gene products typical of neurons (NeuN, 200-kilodalton neurofilament, and class III β-tubulin) and were able to activate the transcription factor cAMP response element–binding protein (CREB). The generation of neuronal phenotypes in the adult brain 1 to 6 months after an adult bone marrow transplant demonstrates a remarkable plasticity of adult tissues with potential clinical applications.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hblau{at}stanford.edu

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