In vitro induced dopaminergic differentiation of expanded rat mesencephalic neural stem cell

Min Zheng, Dongmei Wang, Wenchang Jiao, Haiming Li, Lianxu Zhao, Chixian Bai, Yaping Wang, Xuetao Pei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Neural stem cell (NSC) is the progenitor of the neural system with the character of self-renew and having the potential to differentiate into all the pheotypes in the central nervous system (CNS). NSC may serve as a source of cell transplantation for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases to replace degenerative neurons. In this study, NSCs derived from E12.5 rat mesencephalon were maintained and expanded using a serum-free defined medium containing basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF). While proliferating, the cells were immunoreactive for nestin and remained multipotent to generate neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. After 15 times passage the total number of the cell expanded about 2.4 × 104 fold. Compared with untreated cultures, ascorbic acid (AA) treatment led to more dopaminergic (DAergic) differentitiation as indicated by the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). With the concentration increasing, more TH + neurons were obtained. 100 μmol/L AA could lead to a increase more than 20-fold, and a concentration of 10 μmol/L could lead to nearly 5-fold increase in TH+ cells. However, the ratio of TH+ cells was not improved any longer with the AA increasing above the concentration of 100 μmol/L. The results demonstrate that expanded NSCs can be induced to differentiate into dopamine neurons in vitro, which can provide enough cell population for the cell transplantation, as a main intervention for the neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1759-1763
Number of pages5
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Ascorbic acid
  • Differentiation
  • Dopamine neuron
  • Neural stem cell
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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