Failure of transdifferentiation of adult hematopoietic stem cells into neurons.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Previous studies of bone marrow-derived stem cell transdifferentiation into neurons have not involved purified cell populations and determined their exact phenotype prior to differentiation. The present study investigates whether highly purified mouse adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), characterized by lineage marker depletion and expression of the cell surface markers Sca1 and c-Kit (Lin(-)Sca1(+) c-Kit(+) [LSK]), can be stimulated to adopt a neuronal fate. When the HSCLSK cells were cultured in vitro in neuronal differentiation medium supplemented with retinoic acid, 50% of the cells expressed the neural progenitor marker nestin and no cells had become postmitotic. Electrophysiological recordings on neuron-like cells showed that these cells were incapable of generating action potentials. When the HSCLSK cells either were grown in vitro together with neural precursor cells or were transplanted into the striatum or cerebellum of wild-type mouse, they either differentiated into Iba1-immunopositive macrophage/microglia or died. In conclusion, we demonstrate that adult HSCLSK cells do not have the capacity to leave the hematopoietic lineage and differentiate into neurons.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • fluorescence-activated cell sorting, microglia macrophage, transdifferentiation, neural stem cells, plasticity, adult hematopoietic stem cells
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1594-1604
JournalStem Cells
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Neuronal Survival (013212041), Stem Cell Center (013041110)