Identification and characterization of a new source of adult human neural progenitors

Jinan Behnan, Biljana Stangeland, Tiziana Langella, Gaetano Finocchiaro, Giovanni Tringali, Torstein R. Meling, Wayne Murrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Adult neural progenitor cells (aNPCs) are a potential source for cell based therapy for neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injuries. These cells have been traditionally isolated from hippocampus, subventricular zone and white matter. However, there is still a need for an easily accessible source with better yield to counter the limitations of small surgical samples of previously characterized aNPCs. Here we show that ultrasonic aspirate (UA) samples currently considered as ‘biological waste after surgery,' offer a good source for aNPCs. Furthermore, we show that culture conditions dictated the phenotype of cells across patients. The neurosphere-enriched cells were more similar to freshly isolated brain cells, while cells expanded adherently in serum conditions were similar to mesenchymal stem cells. However, cells expanded in these adherent conditions expressed some NPC and glial markers in addition to active canonical Wnt signaling. This suggests a mesenchymal-neuroectodermal hybrid nature of these cells. Finally, we show that UA-NPCs are comparable to those from neurogenic regions. Our findings suggest that UA samples can be used as a source for fresh and in vitro propagated aNPCs that could have various clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2991
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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