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Biotechnology - Neurological Disorders - Neuroscience - Oncology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Live Imaging of Mouse Endogenous Neural Progenitors Migrating in Response to an Induced Tumor
Published: Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Author: Gema Elvira et al.

by Gema Elvira, Isabel García, Marina Benito, Juan Gallo, Manuel Desco, Soledad Penadés, Jose A. Garcia-Sanz, Augusto Silva

Adult neurogenesis is restricted to specific brain regions. Although involved in the continuous supply of interneurons for the olfactory function, the role of neural precursors in brain damage-repair remains an open question. Aiming to in vivo identify endogenous neural precursor cells migrating towards a brain damage site, the monoclonal antibody Nilo2 recognizing cell surface antigens on neuroblasts, was coupled to magnetic glyconanoparticles (mGNPs). The Nilo2-mGNP complexes allowed, by magnetic resonance imaging in living animals, the in vivo identification of endogenous neural precursors at their niche, as well as their migration to a lesion site (induced brain tumor), which was fast (within hours) and orderly. Interestingly, the rapid migration of neuroblasts towards a damage site is a characteristic that might be exploited to precisely localize early damage events in neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, it might facilitate the study of regenerative mechanisms through the activation of endogenous neural cell precursors. A similar approach, combining magnetic glyconanoparticles linked to appropriate antibodies could be applied to flag other small cell subpopulations within the organism, track their migration, localize stem cell niches, cancer stem cells or even track metastatic cells.