Neurorescue effects and stem properties of chorionic villi and amniotic progenitor cells

C. Calzarossa, P. Bossolasco, A. Besana, M. P. Manca, L. De Grada, P. De Coppi, D. Giardino, V. Silani, L. Cova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The capability to integrate into degenerative environment, release neurotrophic cytokines, contrast oxidative stress and an inherent differentiation potential towards siteappropriate phenotypes are considered crucial for the use of stem cells in tissue repair and regeneration. Naïve human chorial villi- (hCVCs) and amniotic fluid- (hAFCs) derived cells, whose properties and potentiality have not been extensively investigated, may represent two novel foetal cell sources for stem cell therapy. We previously described that long-term transplantation of hAFCs in the lateral ventricles of wobbler and healthy mice was feasible and safe. In the present study we examine the in vitro intrinsic stem potential of hCVCs and hAFCs for future therapeutic applications in neurodegenerative disorders. Presence of stem lineages was evaluated assessing the expression pattern of relevant candidate markers by flow cytometry, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunocytochemistry. Release of cytokines that may potentialy sustain endogenous neurogenesis and/or activate neuroprotective pathways was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). We also performed an in vitro neurorescue assay, wherein a neuroblastoma cell line damaged by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) was treated with hCVC/hAFC-derived conditioned medium (CM). Naïve hCVCs/hAFCs show a neurogenic/angiogenic predisposition. Both cell types express several specific neural stem/progenitor markers, such as nestin and connexin 43, and release significant amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, as well as vascular endothelial growth factor. hCVC and hAFC populations comprise several interesting cell lineages, including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and cells with neural-like phenotypes. Moreover, although CMs obtained from both cell cultures actively sustained metabolic activity in a 6-OHDA-induced Parkinson's disease (PD) cell model, only hCVC-derived CMs significantly reduced neurotoxin-induced apoptosis. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that naïve hAFCs and hCVCs may enhance cell-recovery following neuronal damage through multiple rescue mechanisms, and may provide a suitable means of stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative disorders including PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Mar 7 2013


  • Foetal cells
  • Neuro-glial potential
  • Neuroprotection
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neurorescue effects and stem properties of chorionic villi and amniotic progenitor cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this