Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Stem Cells. Nov 26, 2019; 11(11): 982-989
Published online Nov 26, 2019. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v11.i11.982
Monitoring maturation of neural stem cell grafts within a host microenvironment
Olga Kopach
Olga Kopach, Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London WC1 N3BG, United Kingdom
Author contributions: Kopach O analyzed the literature, designed the outline and wrote the paper, prepared the figure.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There is no conflict of interest to disclose.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Olga Kopach, PhD, Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square House, London WC1N3BG, United Kingdom.
Telephone: +44-20-3448447
Received: March 23, 2019
Peer-review started: March 26, 2019
First decision: August 1, 2019
Revised: September 8, 2019
Accepted: October 1, 2019
Article in press: October 1, 2019
Published online: November 26, 2019

Neural stem cells (NSC) act as a versatile tool for neuronal cell replacement strategies to treat neurodegenerative disorders in which functional neurorestorative mechanisms are limited. While the beneficial effects of such cell-based therapy have already been documented in terms of neurodegeneration of various origins, a neurophysiological basis for improvement in the recovery of neurological function is still not completely understood. This overview briefly describes the cumulative evidence from electrophysiological studies of NSC-derived neurons, aimed at establishing the maturation of differentiated neurons within a host microenvironment, and their integration into the host circuits, with a particular focus on the neurogenesis of NSC grafts within the post-ischemic milieu. Overwhelming evidence demonstrates that the host microenvironment largely regulates the lineage of NSC grafts. This regulatory role, as yet underestimated, raises possibilities for the favoured maturation of a subset of neural phenotypes in order to gain timely remodelling of the impaired brain tissue and amplify the therapeutic effects of NSC-based therapy for recovery of neurological function.

Keywords: Neural stem cells, Embryonic progenitors, Neurogenesis, Maturation of neurophysiological properties, Integration into network, Neural stem cell therapy, Neurodegeneration, Ischemic injury

Core tip: Electrophysiology combined with post-hoc immunohistochemistry was utilized for monitoring the maturation of neural stem cell (NSC)-derived hippocampal neurons within a host tissue, aimed at establishing the neurogenesis of NSC grafts between physiological and post-ischemic endogenous milieus. Understanding the timing maturation of the neurophysiological properties of differentiated neurons within the microenvironment of a host brain tissue will provide an assessment of the effects of cell-based therapy with regard to neurodegenerative disorders of varied aetiology.