Dysfunction of cortical GABAergic interneurons are involved in numerous neurological disorders including epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism; and replenishment of these cells by transplantation strategy has proven to be a feasible and effective method to help revert the symptoms in several animal models. To develop methodology of generating transplantable GABAergic interneurons for therapy, we previously reported the isolation of a v-myc-induced GABAergic interneuron progenitor clone GE6 from embryonic ganglionic eminence (GE). These cells can proliferate and form functional inhibitory synapses in culture. Here, we tested their differentiation behavior in vivo by transplanting them into the postnatal rat forebrain. We found that GE6 cells migrate extensively in the neonatal forebrain and differentiate into both neurons and glia, but preferentially into neurons when compared with a sister progenitor clone CTX8. The neurogenic potential of GE6 cells is also maintained after transplantation into a non-permissive environment such as adult cortex or when treated with inflammatory cytokine in culture. The GE6-derived neurons were able to mature in vivo as GABAergic interneurons expressing GABAergic, not glutamatergic, presynaptic puncta. Finally, we propose that v-myc-induced human interneuron progenitor clones could be an alternative cell source of transplantable GABAergic interneurons for treating related neurological diseases in future clinic.
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