gms | German Medical Science

63rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society (JNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

13 - 16 June 2012, Leipzig

Neuronal cell viability is promoted by paracrine factors released from endothelial progenitor cells

Meeting Abstract

  • S.D. Santo - Department of Neurosurgery, University of Berne, Switzerland
  • A. Ducray - Department of Neurosurgery, University of Berne, Switzerland
  • N. Porz - Department of Neurosurgery, University of Berne, Switzerland
  • A. Raabe - Department of Neurosurgery, University of Berne, Switzerland
  • H.R. Widmer - Department of Neurosurgery, University of Berne, Switzerland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 63. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (JNS). Leipzig, 13.-16.06.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocP 102

doi: 10.3205/12dgnc489, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgnc4890

Published: June 4, 2012

© 2012 Santo et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: There is growing evidence that stem cells exert regenerative actions by means of paracrine factors. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that soluble factors secreted by cultured endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) may support neuronal cell functions and survival.

Methods: EPC were isolated from peripheral blood of healthy human donors by gradient centrifugation. Cells were cultured in hypoxic conditions (1.5% O2) to stimulate the secretion of growth factors. Primary cultures from rat embryonic (E14) ventral mesencephalon, striatum and cortex were grown for one week and chronically treated with EPC derived conditioned medium (CM). The effect of EPC-CM was monitored by immunocytochemical analyzes for neuronal markers including β-III-tubulin, GABA, Neuronal Nuclei (NeuN), and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) as well as for a marker of microglial cells (Iba1). Cell viability was measured by means of the MTT assay.

Results: Incubation of primary cultures with EPC-CM resulted in an overall augmented viability compared to controls. This effect was associated with significantly increase in TH-ir cell densities in ventral mesencephalic as well as NeuN-ir and GABA-ir cell densities in the striatal cultures, respectively. Similarly, the number of β-III-tubulin expressing cells was significantly increased in cortical cultures exposed to EPC-CM. Most strikingly, treatment of cultures with EPC-CM resulted in a marked increase of number of microglial cells. Reducing the number of cortical microglial cells only partially attenuated the effects EPC-CM.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that EPC play a substantial role for developing brain tissues through remarkable paracrine actions. The effects on neuronal cells are likely both directly governed by EPC-CM as well as secondary by the microglia.

This work was supported by SNF-NRP63.