Perinatal hypoxia/ischemia (H/I) is the leading cause of neurologic injury resulting from birth complications. Recent advances in critical care have dramatically improved the survival rate of infants suffering this insult, but ∼50% of survivors will develop neurologic sequelae such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy or cognitive deficits. Here we demonstrate that tripotential neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPs) participate in the regenerative response to perinatal H/I as their numbers increase 100% by 3 d and that they alter their intrinsic properties to divide using expansive symmetrical cell divisions. We further show that production of new striatal neurons follows the expansion of NSPs. Increased proliferation within the NSP niche occurs at 2 d after perinatal H/I, and the proliferating cells express nestin. Of those stem-cell related genes that change, the membrane receptors Notch1, gp-130, and the epidermal growth factor receptor, as well as the downstream transcription factor Hes5, which stimulate NSP proliferation and regulate stem cellness are induced before NSP expansion. The mechanisms for the reactive expansion of the NSPs reported here reveal potential therapeutic targets that could be exploited to amplify this response, thus enabling endogenous precursors to restore a normal pattern of brain development after perinatal H/I.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cerebral palsy
- Subventricular zone