To identify and evaluate stem cell–derived oligodendrocytes obtained for cell transplantation therapies, the authors developed a novel model to examine single, adult oligodendrocytes in situ.
Green fluorescent protein–expressing, mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) were neural induced and additionally staged in an oligosphere preparatory step for high-yield derivation of oligodendrocyte progenitors. These transplantable, induced progenitors were injected into postnatal Day 2 rat pups, in which spinal cord sections were then examined at 3 and 9 weeks posttransplantation.
Transplanted oligosphere ESCs survived and integrated anatomically into postnatal and adult white matter, generating targeted regions of chimeric spinal cord. A simple model for identifying adult oligodendrocytes in situ is presented, which is suitable for use in further studies examining functional myelination and derivation of oligodendrocytes from genetically engineered ESC lines, including human ESCs. Results from the model presented here demonstrate a unique method for examining transplantable oligodendrocyte progenitors derived from ESCs for repair of white matter disease.