Sox-2 positive neural progenitors in the primate striatum undergo dynamic changes after dopamine denervation

Cristina Ordonez, Paz Moreno-Murciano, Maria Hernandez, Carla Di Caudo, Inaki Carril Mundinano, Nerea Vazquez, Jose Manuel Garcia -Verdugo, Rosario Sanchez-Pernaute, Maria-Rosairo Luquin

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The existence of endogenous neural progenitors in the nigrostriatal system could represent a powerful tool for restorative therapies in Parkinson's disease. Sox-2 is a transcription factor expressed in pluripotent and adult stem cells, including neural progenitors. In the adult brain Sox-2 is expressed in the neurogenic niches. There is also widespread expression of Sox-2 in other brain regions, although the neurogenic potential outside the niches is uncertain. Here, we analyzed the presence of Sox-2+ cells in the adult primate (Macaca fascicularis) brain in naïve animals (N = 3) and in animals exposed to systemic administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6 tetrahydropyridine to render them parkinsonian (N = 8). Animals received bromodeoxyuridine (100 mg/kg once a day during five consecutive days) to label proliferating cells and their progeny. Using confocal and electron microscopy we analyzed the Sox-2+ cell population in the nigrostriatal system and investigated changes in the number, proliferation and neurogenic potential of Sox-2+ cells, in control conditions and at two time points after MPTP administration. We found Sox-2+ cells with self-renewal capacity in both the striatum and the substantia nigra. Importantly, only in the striatum Sox-2+ was expressed in some calretinin+ neurons. MPTP administration led to an increase in the proliferation of striatal Sox-2+ cells and to an acute, concomitant decrease in the percentage of Sox-2+/calretinin+ neurons, which recovered by 18 months. Given their potential capacity to differentiate into neurons and their responsiveness to dopamine neurotoxic insults, striatal Sox-2+ cells represent good candidates to harness endogenous repair mechanisms for regenerative approaches in Parkinson's disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere66377
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

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