Central nervous system (CNS) progenitor cells were isolated from the telencephalon of an 8-week gestation human fetal brain. CNS progenitor cells are characterized by expression of the neuroepithelial stem cell marker nestin and by active proliferation. These progenitor cells do not express markers for astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, or fibroblasts and have been maintained in an undifferentiated state for 25 passages with no apparent change in cellular phenotype.
CNS progenitor cells can be selectively differentiated into neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
Human CNS progenitor cells were isolated from the telencephalon of an 8-week gestation human fetal brain. After dissection and dissociation, the cells were cultured in serum-free neurobasal medium, supplemented with N2 components, neural survival factor, L-glutamine (2mM), penicillin/streptomycin (100IU/ml), gentamicin (50g/ml), bovine serum albumin (0.5%), and growth factors, basic fibroblast growth factor (25ng/ml), and epidermal growth factor (20ng/ml). Cell cultures were grown on poly-D-lysine–coated plasticware, at 37°C in 5% CO2. After several passages of growth factor selection, an undifferentiated population of multipotential progenitor cells was isolated.