An avian model for the reversal of neurobehavioral teratogenicity with neural stem cells

Sharon Dotan, Adi Pinkas, Theodore A. Slotkin, Joseph Yanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A fast and simple model which uses lower animals on the evolutionary scale is beneficial for developing procedures for the reversal of neurobehavioral teratogenicity with neural stem cells. Here, we established a procedure for the derivation of chick neural stem cells, establishing embryonic day (E) 10 as optimal for progression to neuronal phenotypes. Cells were obtained from the embryonic cerebral hemispheres and incubated for 5-7. days in enriched medium containing epidermal growth factor (EGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) according to a procedure originally developed for mice. A small percentage of the cells survived, proliferated and formed nestin-positive neurospheres. After removal of the growth factors to allow differentiation (5. days), 74% of the cells differentiated into all major lineages of the nervous system, including neurons (Beta III tubulin-positive, 54% of the total number of differentiated cells), astrocytes (GFAP-positive, 26%), and oligodendrocytes (O4-positive, 20%). These findings demonstrate that the cells were indeed neural stem cells. Next, the cells were transplanted in two allograft chick models; (1) direct cerebral transplantation to 24-h-old chicks, followed by post-transplantation cell tracking at 24. h, 6. days and 14. days, and (2) intravenous transplantation to chick embryos on E13, followed by cell tracking on E19. With both methods, transplanted cells were found in the brain. The chick embryo provides a convenient, precisely-timed and unlimited supply of neural progenitors for therapy by transplantation, as well as constituting a fast and simple model in which to evaluate the ability of neural stem cell transplantation to repair neural damage, steps that are critical for progress toward therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chick
  • Intra-cerebral transplantation
  • Intra-venous transplantation
  • Neural stem cell derivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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