Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration

Beijing, China

Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration

Beijing, China
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Guan Y.,Capital Medical University | Guan Y.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Zou H.,General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command | Chen X.,Xian Childrens Hospital | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience Research | Year: 2014

Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells can lead to tumors after transplantation. The cellular source of such tumors remains under debate. We investigated the tumor formation resulting from mES cell-derived NPCs in a rat stroke model and in nude mice. After 2 hr of ischemia and 48 hr of reperfusion, the NPCs were transplanted into the ischemic core of the xenogeneic rats. Four weeks after transplantation, the grafted cells were found to be viable at the border of the necrosis and had differentiated into neurons. Transplanted rats did not exhibit any behavioral improvement, because tumor formed in 90% of the animals. Immunosuppression facilitated tumor formation. Tumors were observed in 40% of normal rats after NPC transplantation when cyclosporin A was administered. Meanwhile, no tumor formation was observed without cyclosporin A. Ischemic damage also facilitated tumor formation, because NPCs gave rise to tumors in 90% of ischemic rats, a percentage significantly higher than that in intact rats, which was 40%. The SSEA-1-positive cells isolated from stage 4 are not exactly undifferentiated ES cells. They exhibited a marker gene transcription profile different from that of ES cells and did not form tumors in transplanted nude mice. The undifferentiated ES cells remaining after differentiation did not contribute to tumors either. First, the tumor formation rate resulting from undifferentiated ES cells in the brains of normal rats is 0%, significantly lower than that of NPCs. Second, transplanted NPCs that led to 100% tumors in nude mice contained approximately 1.5 × 103 Oct-4-positive cells; however, even 5 × 105 undifferentiated ES cells formed neoplasm only in 40% nude mice. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Du Q.,Capital Medical University | Du Q.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Guan Y.,Capital Medical University | Guan Y.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | And 6 more authors.
Neuroscience Letters | Year: 2011

Embryonic stem (ES) cells represent a valuable resource for transplantation and tissue engineering applications. For derivation of neural cells, a five-stage differentiation protocol has been widely applied, which involves the propagation of ES cells, formation of embryoid bodies (EBs), selection of neural stem cells (NSCs), expansion of NSCs, and further maturation of NSCs to neurons. During the expansion stage (the fourth stage), two types of cells with distinct morphologies normally emerge, with one type being monolayer cells and the other sphere-like aggregates growing on top of the monolayer cells. In this study, we focus on how the monolayer cells may affect different aspects of aggregate cells, which may have important implications for regenerative medicine. We find that monolayer cells can support the proliferation and decrease the apoptosis rate of sphere cells, as well as facilitate the production of Tuj1-positive cells from sphere cells. In addition, transplantation of monolayer cells into nude mice does not result in tumor formation nor affects the tumorigenicity of sphere cells, when grafted together with monolayer cells. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Wang S.,Capital Medical University | Wang S.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Ren P.,Capital Medical University | Ren P.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2011

Both clinical and experimental studies provide growing evidences that marked sex differences in certain neurological disorders or disease models are largely attributed to the neuroprotective effects of estrogen. The purposes of this study were to assess the neuroprotective effect of 17β-estradiol (E2) on dopaminergic neurons against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in organotypic mesencephalic slice culture and to elucidate the possible mechanism underlying neuroprotection. It was found that long-term exposure to E2 exerted marked effects on restoring the number of dopaminergic neurons, maintaining normal morphology of dopaminergic neurons, and preserving their ability to release dopamine at the presence of 6-OHDA. The neuroprotective effect of E2 could be dramatically blocked by an estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182, 780 (ICI). The expression of GFAP, TLR4, and anti-apoptosis gene BCL2 were elevated at the presence of E2, whereas only BCL2 activation was blocked by ICI, dominantly responsible for E2-induced neuroprotection. Furthermore, activation of BCL2 was speculated to be mainly mediated through mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, yet phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signaling contributed largely to GFAP and TLR4 upregulation. Taken together, MAPK pathway-mediated BCL2 expression accounted for one of the key mechanisms involved in E2 neuroprotective effect on dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA insult. This finding provides new insight into controversial estrogen replacement therapy. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Zou C.,Capital Medical University | Zou C.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Zou C.,Guangxi Medical University | Wang S.,Capital Medical University | And 4 more authors.
Cornea | Year: 2012

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the ultrastructural corneal changes of chronic diabetic monkeys and explore the relationship between advanced glycation end products and ultrastructural changes in diabetic corneas. Methods: A total of 8 cynomolgus monkeys were used in this experiment. Four monkeys were induced into insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus for 4 years. Four age-matched healthy monkeys were used as the controls. Ultrathin sections obtained from the corneas were examined by transmission electron microscopy. Results: Advanced glycation end product immunoreactivity was observed in the epithelial cells, epithelial basement membrane, and stromal keratocytes of diabetic corneas, whereas advanced glycation end product immunoreactivity was not found in the corresponding area in normal corneas. Abnormal collagen fibril bundles of variable thickness were identified in corneal stroma in all diabetic monkeys. Epithelial and endothelial cell degeneration was also observed in 1 diabetic monkey. Conclusions: Abnormal aggregates of collagen fibrils in stromal matrix were common among long-term diabetic monkeys, and the formation of the abnormal collagen fibril aggregates might result from excessive nonenzymatic glycosylation. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.


Ren Z.,Capital Medical University | Ren Z.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Ren Z.,Anhui Medical University | Zou C.,Capital Medical University | And 5 more authors.
Cell Biology International | Year: 2010

E2 (oestradiol-17β) is an important hormone that regulates various cell functions including insulin production. hIPCs (human islet-derived precursor cells) are capable of proliferating and differentiating into cells that secrete insulin in response to glucose in vivo and in vitro. However, the effect of E2 on hIPCs is currently unclear. In this study, we found that ERa (oestrogen receptor alpha), but not ERβ, was expressed on hIPCs, and E2 promoted the proliferation and inhibited the differentiation of adult hIPCs. Although fetal hIPCs also express ERα, no effect of E2 on the fetal hIPCs was observed, suggesting differing roles of E2 at different stages of pancreatic development. This study indicates that E2 may be one of the key factors that control the turnover of adult pancreatic β cells by regulating the proliferation and differentiation of adult hIPCs through ERα. © The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2010 Portland Press Limited.


Sheng C.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Sheng C.,Northeast Agricultural University | Zheng Q.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Zheng Q.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 23 more authors.
Cell Research | Year: 2012

Multipotent neural stem/progenitor cells hold great promise for cell therapy. The reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells as well as mature neurons suggests a possibility to convert a terminally differentiated somatic cell into a multipotent state without first establishing pluripotency. Here, we demonstrate that Sertoli cells derived from mesoderm can be directly converted into a multipotent state that possesses neural stem/progenitor cell properties. The induced neural stem/progenitor cells (iNSCs) express multiple NSC-specific markers, exhibit a global gene-expression profile similar to normal NSCs, and are capable of self-renewal and differentiating into glia and electrophysiologically functional neurons. iNSC-derived neurons stain positive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), γ-aminobutyric acid, and choline acetyltransferase. In addition, iNSCs can survive and generate synapses following transplantation into the dentate gyrus. Generation of iNSCs may have important implications for disease modeling and regenerative medicine. © 2012 IBCB, SIBS, CAS All rights reserved.


Guan Y.,Capital Medical University | Guan Y.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Du Q.-A.,Capital Medical University | Du Q.-A.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: In the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells into neurons using the 5-stage method, cells in stage 4 are in general used as neural progenitors (NPs) because of their ability to give rise to neurons. The choice of stage 4 raises several questions about neural progenitors such as the type of cell types that are specifically considered to be neural progenitors, the exact time when these progenitors become capable of neurogenesis and whether neurogenesis is an independent and autonomous process or the result of an interaction between NP cells and the surrounding cells. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study, we found that the confluent monolayer cells and neural sphere like cell clusters both appeared in the culture of the first 14 days and the subsequent 6 weeks. However, only the sphere cells are neural progenitors that give rise to neurons and astrocytes. The NP cells require 14 days to mature into neural lineages fully capable of differentiation. We also found that although the confluent monolayer cells do not undergo neurogenesis, they play a crucial role in the growth, differentiation, and apoptosis of the sphere cells, during the first 14 days and long term culture, by secreted factors and direct cell to cell contact. Conclusions/Significance: The sphere cells in stage 4 are more committed to developing into neural progenitors than monolayer cells. Interaction between the monolayer cells and sphere cells is important in the development of stage 4 cell characteristics. © 2013 Guan et al.


Zou C.,Capital Medical University | Zou C.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Zou C.,Johns Hopkins University | Chou B.-K.,Johns Hopkins University | And 11 more authors.
Stem Cells and Development | Year: 2012

Derivation of pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) induced from somatic cell types and the subsequent genetic modifications of disease-specific or patient-specific iPSCs are crucial steps in their applications for disease modeling as well as future cell and gene therapies. Conventional procedures of these processes require co-culture with primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to support self-renewal and clonal growth of human iPSCs as well as embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, the variability of MEF quality affects the efficiencies of all these steps. Furthermore, animal sourced feeders may hinder the clinical applications of human stem cells. In order to overcome these hurdles, we established immortalized human feeder cell lines by stably expressing human telomerase reverse transcriptase, Wnt3a, and drug resistance genes in adult mesenchymal stem cells. Here, we show that these immortalized human feeders support efficient derivation of virus-free, integration-free human iPSCs and long-term expansion of human iPSCs and ESCs. Moreover, the drug-resistance feature of these feeders also supports nonviral gene transfer and expression at a high efficiency, mediated by piggyBac DNA transposition. Importantly, these human feeders exhibit superior ability over MEFs in supporting homologous recombination-mediated gene targeting in human iPSCs, allowing us to efficiently target a transgene into the AAVS1 safe harbor locus in recently derived integration-free iPSCs. Our results have great implications in disease modeling and translational applications of human iPSCs, as these engineered human cell lines provide a more efficient tool for genetic modifications and a safer alternative for supporting self-renewal of human iPSCs and ESCs. © 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Ren Z.,Capital Medical University | Ren Z.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Ren Z.,Anhui Medical University | Wang J.,Capital Medical University | And 12 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2011

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown potential clinical utility in cell therapy and tissue engineering, due to their ability to proliferate as well as to differentiate into multiple lineages, including osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic specifications. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the safety of MSCs while extensive expansion ex vivo is a prerequisite to obtain the cell numbers for cell transplantation. Here we show that MSCs derived from adult cynomolgus monkey can undergo spontaneous transformation following in vitro culture. In comparison with MSCs, the spontaneously transformed mesenchymal cells (TMCs) display significantly different growth pattern and morphology, reminiscent of the characteristics of tumor cells. Importantly, TMCs are highly tumorigenic, causing subcutaneous tumors when injected into NOD/SCID mice. Moreover, no multiple differentiation potential of TMCs is observed in vitro or in vivo, suggesting that spontaneously transformed adult stem cells may not necessarily turn into cancer stem cells. These data indicate a direct transformation of cynomolgus monkey MSCs into tumor cells following long-term expansion in vitro. The spontaneous transformation of the cultured cynomolgus monkey MSCs may have important implications for ongoing clinical trials and for models of oncogenesis, thus warranting a more strict assessment of MSCs prior to cell therapy. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Wu J.,Capital Medical University | Wu J.,Key Laboratory of Neurodegeneration | Wu J.,Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders | Sheng C.,CAS Institute of Zoology | And 29 more authors.
Stem Cell Research | Year: 2014

Lmx1a plays a central role in the specification of dopaminergic (DA) neurons, which potentially could be employed as a key factor for trans-differentiation to DA neurons. In our previous study, we have converted somatic cells directly into neural stem cell-like cells, namely induced neural stem cells (iNSCs), which further can be differentiated into subtypes of neurons and glia in vitro. In the present study, we continued to test whether these iNSCs have therapeutic effects when transplanted into a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD), especially when Lmx1a was introduced into these iNSCs under a Nestin enhancer. iNSCs that over-expressed Lmx1a (iNSC-Lmx1a) gave rise to an increased yield of dopaminergic neurons and secreted a higher level of dopamine in vitro. When transplanted into mouse models of PD, both groups of mice showed decreased ipsilateral rotations; yet mice that received iNSC-Lmx1a vs. iNSC-GFP exhibited better recovery. Although few iNSCs survived 11. weeks after transplantation, the improved motor performance in iNSC-Lmx1a group did correlate with a greater tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) signal abundance in the lesioned area of striatum, suggesting that iNSCs may have worked through a non-autonomous manner to enhance the functions of remaining endogenous dopaminergic neurons in brain. © 2014.

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