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Abstract #0358

MR tracking of lineage-restricted neural precursors following transplantation into the adult spinal cord

Lepore A, Fischer I, Bulte J, Walczak P, Rao M
Drexel University College of Medicine

Mixtures of neuronal-restricted precursor cells (NRPs) and glial-restricted precursor cells (GRPs) display robust survival and extensive migration following transplantation into both the intact and injured spinal cord. Following magnetic labeling of NRPs/GRPs from a transgene rat, allowing proper histological analysis of live cell distribution, cells migrated over 5 mm distances and differentiated into all three neural lineages in vivo. An hereto unreported specific infiltration of macrophages was observed only for labeled cells; however the majority of iron particles remained in grafted cells. Thus, iron oxide labeling does not impede cell differentiation and can accurately depict transplanted cells by MRI