Advanced Biomedical Research and Innovation

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Neural stem cells in postnatal monodelphis domestica in vitro preparations for the study of mammalian CNS regeneration

The incapability of the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) to regenerate and repair itself after injury is one of the major issues in modern neuroscience. Despite the existence of neural stem cells (NSC) and neurogenesis in the adult CNS, it is still poorly understood why neuro-regenerative ability is progressively lost during development and why it becomes extremely limited in adult mammals. To identify the key players responsible for this loss, neonatal short-tailed South American opossums (Monodelphis domestica), marsupials born at very immature, embryonic-like, state with unique ability to fully regenerate spinal cord after injury in the first two postnatal weeks will be used. For this reason, they offer an exceptional opportunity to study neuronal regeneration. Novel in vitro models of neuro-regeneration starting from brain and spinal cord tissue of the opossums from different postnatal ages, focusing on neural stem cells (NSC) and revealing the new characteristics of postnatal neuro-regenerating tissue were being developed. In parallel, immunohistochemistry of brain and spinal cord tissue slices, as well as the isotropic fractionator method, using several NSC markers in order to identify and characterize different stem cell populations arising during developing CNS were used. Finally, the dynamical changes in the regenerative capacity in relation to the postnatal age are analysed by advanced live cell imaging. Altogether, these investigations could identify key developmental processes responsible for the loss of neuro-regeneration in mammals and could also contribute to development of stem cell therapy-based therapeutic approaches.

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