Engrafted glial progenitor cells yield long-term integration and sensory improvement in aged mice

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2022 Jun 28;13(1):285. doi: 10.1186/s13287-022-02959-0.


Aging causes astrocyte morphological degeneration and functional deficiency, which impairs neuronal functions. Until now, whether age-induced neuronal deficiency could be alleviated by engraftment of glial progenitor cell (GPC) derived astrocytes remained unknown. In the current study, GPCs were generated from embryonic cortical neural stem cells in vitro and transplanted into the brains of aged mice. Their integration and intervention effects in the aged brain were examined 12 months after transplantation. Results indicated that these in-vitro-generated GPC-derived astrocytes possessed normal functional properties. After transplantation they could migrate, differentiate, achieve long-term integration, and maintain much younger morphology in the aged brain. Additionally, these GPC-derived astrocytes established endfeet expressing aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and ameliorate AQP4 polarization in the aged neocortex. More importantly, age-dependent sensory response degeneration was reversed by GPC transplantation. This work demonstrates that rejuvenation of the astrocyte niche is a promising treatment to prevent age-induced degradation of neuronal and behavioral functions.

PMID:35765112 | DOI:10.1186/s13287-022-02959-0

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