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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 857202, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/857202
Research Article

Overexpression of NTRK1 Promotes Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells into Cholinergic Neurons

1Department of Neurology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangdong Neuroscience Institute, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China
2Department of Neurology, Linyi City People’s Hospital, Linyi, Shandong 276000, China
3Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Department of Neurology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, China

Received 9 July 2015; Revised 25 August 2015; Accepted 16 September 2015

Academic Editor: William Z. Suo

Copyright © 2015 Limin Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Neurotrophic tyrosine kinase type 1 (NTRK1) plays critical roles in proliferation, differentiation, and survival of cholinergic neurons; however, it remains unknown whether enhanced expression of NTRK1 in neural stem cells (NSCs) can promote their differentiation into mature neurons. In this study, a plasmid encoding the rat NTRK1 gene was constructed and transfected into C17.2 mouse neural stem cells (NSCs). NTRK1 overexpression in C17.2 cells was confirmed by western blot. The NSCs overexpressing NTRK1 and the C17.2 NSCs transfected by an empty plasmid vector were treated with or without 100 ng/mL nerve growth factor (NGF) for 7 days. Expression of the cholinergic cell marker, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), was detected by florescent immunocytochemistry (ICC). In the presence of NGF induction, the NSCs overexpressing NTRK1 differentiated into ChAT-immunopositive cells at 3-fold higher than the NSCs transfected by the plasmid vector (26% versus 9%, ). The data suggest that elevated NTRK1 expression increases differentiation of NSCs into cholinergic neurons under stimulation of NGF. The approach also represents an efficient strategy for generation of cholinergic neurons.