Eleni A. Markakis, Masanori Sasaki, Karen L. Lankford, Jeffery D. Kocsis
Progenitor cells isolated from adult brain tissue are important tools for experimental studies of remyelination. Cells harvested from neurogenic regions in the adult brain such as the subependymal zone have demonstrated remyelination potential. Multipotent cells from the progenitor fraction have been isolated from the adult olfactory bulb (OB) but their potential to remyelinate has not been studied. We used the buoyant density gradient centrifugation method to isolate the progenitor fraction and harvest self-renewing multipotent neural cells grown in monolayers from the adult green-fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic rat OB. OB tissue was mechanically and chemically dissociated and the resultant cell suspension fractionated on a Percoll gradient. The progenitor fraction was isolated and these cells were plated in growth media with serum for 24 hrs. Cells were then propagated in N2 supplemented serum-free media containing b-FGF. Cells at passage 4 (P4) were introduced into a demyelinated spinal cord lesion. The GFP+ cells survived and integrated into the lesion, and extensive remyelination was observed in plastic sections. Immunohistochemistry revealed GFP+ cells in the spinal cord to be glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), neuronal nuclei (NeuN), and neurofilament negative. The GFP+ cells were found among primarily P0+ myelin profiles, although some myelin basic protein (MBP) profiles were present. Immuno-electron microscopy for GFP revealed GFP+ cell bodies adjacent to and surrounding peripheral-type myelin rings. We report that neural cells from the progenitor fraction of the adult rat OB grown in monolayers can be expanded for several passages in culture and that upon transplantation into a demyelinated spinal cord lesion provide extensive remyelination without ectopic neuronal differentiation.