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Page updated at 12:43:23 PM on Monday, May 21st, 2012

New Animal Model, Nanotechnologies and Neuroimaging to Study Interactions and Homing of Human Neural Stem Cells in Stroke

Funded with €82,840.00 for 12 months (from June, 2011 to June, 2012) by Italian Ministry of Health within Stem Cells Call for proposal 2008 Edition

Person in charge: Francesco Saverio Pavone
LENS members: Anna Letizia Allegra Mascaro, Leonardo Sacconi

Apply Two Photon Microscopy to visualize morphological and functional aspects of brain physiology in cerebral infarction.

Purkinje neurons in a rat cerebellum thin section. The Purkinje neurons are labeled red and the glia are labeled green. Image by Thomas J. Deerinck.

Two Photon Microscopy is an innovative technique to visualize in vivo biological tissues. It offers the chance of visualizing both morphological and functional aspects of brain physiology, in healthy as well as in pathological conditions, and combined with genetic techniques to target populations of neurons with fluorescent proteins, it allows to follow rearrangements of neural processes in the cortex of live animals.

In this project Two Photon Microscopy will be applied to visualize the temporal evolution of the neural network in an animal model of cerebral infarction. Main aim of researchers is to study the details of real dynamics of the homing process of transplanted stem cells that it has been shown may induce a functional recovery of the ischemic brain, migrating from the site of injection toward the lesion.

In vivo imaging of the inoculated stem cells, previously labeled with a fluorescent marker, in an animal model of ischemic disease will be performed, too. Thanks to previous technique it will be possible to follow the real dynamics of infiltrating cells through the brain parenchyma towards the site of injury, comparing these results with the behavior of these cells in an healthy environment.

Multidisciplinary background required to Two Photon Imaging technique is a key element to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of recovery after a stroke towards the development of novel therapeutic strategies.



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