Isolation and characterization of murine neural stem/progenitor cells based on Prominin-1 expression

Stefania Corti, Monica Nizzardo, Martina Nardini, Chiara Donadoni, Federica Locatelli, Dimitra Papadimitriou, Sabrina Salani, Roberto Del Bo, Serena Ghezzi, Sandra Strazzer, Nereo Bresolin, Giacomo P. Comi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The identification of strategies for the isolation of neural stem cells (NSCs) has important implications for the understanding of their biology and the development of therapeutic applications. It has been previously described that human neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) can be isolated from the central nervous system (CNS) using antibodies to prominin (CD133) and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Although this antigen displayed an identical membrane topology in several human and murine tissues there was uncertainty as to the relationship between human and mouse prominin because of the low level of amino acid identity. Here we show that prominin expression can be used to identify and isolate also murine NSPCs from the developing or adult brain. Prominin is co-expressed with known neural stem markers like SOX 1-2, Musashi and Nestin. Moreover, neurosphere-forming cells with multipotency and self-renewal capacity reside within the prominin-positive fraction. Transplantation experiments show that CD133-positive cells give rise to neurons and glial cells in vivo, and that many neurons display appropriate phenotypic characteristics of the recipient tissues. The demonstration that CD133 is a stem cell antigen for murine NSPCs as it is for human NSPCs is useful for the investigation of mammal neurogenesis and development of preclinical tests of NSPCs transplantation in mouse analogues of human diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-562
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • CD133
  • Neural stem cells
  • Prominin-1
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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