The Differentiation of Non-Neuronal Elements in Neocortical Transplants

  • Leslie M. Smith
  • Ford F. Ebner
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Brain tissue transplantation is a versatile technique with the potential to identify cellular mechanisms that control developing as well as mature functions of neurons and glia. We are currently interested in how the continued differentiation of embryonic donor tissue affects the ingrowth of adult host axons into these transplants. Two important variables are the type of host fiber and the age of the donor tissue at the time of transplantation. For example, axons labeled by acetylcholinesterase (AChE) histochemistry always start to grow into the transplants within a few days and ultimately achieve numerical densities comparable to the normal cortex (Hohmann and Ebner 1982, Park, et al. 1984). Monoamine fibers visualized by histofluorescence, in contrast, are not detectable for 3–4 weeks and never reach normal densities in these neocortical transplants (Park et al. 1984). Only rare thalamic and commissural fibers elongate across the interface zone into the transplants without special pretreatment (Smith et al. 1984). Host axons arising from peptidergic neurons have never been observed entering the transplants at any donor age (Ebner et al. 1984). Host GABAergic neurons grow into transplants taken from very young donors, embryonic day 14 or younger, but not at all into older donor tissue (Smith et al. 1984). All types of host fiber systems are damaged to some extent at the time of transplantation, but these results indicate that each responds to the damage in very different ways.


Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Basement Lamina Donor Tissue Radial Glia Radial Glial Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie M. Smith
  • Ford F. Ebner
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Neural Science and Division of Biology and MedicineBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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