Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or their progeny, derived from human somatic cells, can give rise to functional improvements after intracerebral transplantation in animal models of stroke. Previous studies have indicated that reactive gliosis, which is associated with stroke, inhibits neurogenesis from both endogenous and grafted neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) of rodent origin. Here we have assessed whether reactive astrocytes affect the fate of human iPSC-derived NSPCs transplanted into stroke-injured brain. Mice with genetically attenuated reactive gliosis (deficient for GFAP and vimentin) were subjected to cortical stroke and cells were implanted adjacent to the ischemic lesion one week later. At 8 weeks after transplantation, immunohistochemical analysis showed that attenuated reactive gliosis did not affect neurogenesis or commitment towards glial lineage of the grafted NSPCs. Our findings, obtained in a human-to-mouse xenograft experiment, provide evidence that the reactive gliosis in stroke-injured brain does not affect the formation of new neurons from intracortically grafted human iPSC-derived NSPCs. However, for a potential clinical translation of these cells in stroke, it will be important to clarify whether the lack of effect of reactive gliosis on neurogenesis is observed also in a human-to-human experimental setting.
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