Session Title: Stem Cells
BRAIN REPAIR STRATEGY: ARE MALE AND FEMALE NEURAL STEM CELLS EQUIVALENT?
L. Lecanu1, J. Waldron2
Although there is a considerable body of work published on stem cell transplantation into the brain, very little is known about the factors defining the ability of neural stem cells (NSCs) to self-renew and differentiate. We investigated the role of gender in defining the capacity of NSCs to differentiate into neurons. Our preliminary results suggest that male and female NSCs isolated for adult rat brains are intrinsically different and do not have the same neural fate even when exposed to the same environment. In vitro, retinoic acid-induced differentiation led to neural phenotypes that were highly depending on the gender of the NSCs used. When NSCs isolated from the subventricular zone (SVZ) were grafted in the striatum of same age adult rat recipients, their migratory pattern from the graft location differed based on whether the graft was a same gender or a cross-gender transplantation. NSCs grafted in a same gender recipients migrated from the center of the striatum back to the SVZ whereas NSCs grafted in an opposite gender brain recipient were mainly found in the corpus callosum. Interestingly, transplantation of NSCs originating from the dentate gyrus in the striatum resulted in clustering at the injection site rather than migrating behavior. Although these results are only preliminary and require further investigation, they suggest that male and female NSCs are not identical. We believe that results of this work will provide critical information that would shape the landscape of the application of stem cell therapy-based treatments filed in humans.