Morphological and ultrastructural characterization of neurospheres spontaneously generated in the culture from sheep ovarian cortical cells

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Neurospheres (NS) derived from adult stem cells of non-neural tissues represent a promising source of neural stem cells (NSCs) and neural progenitor cells (NPCs) for autologous cell therapy. Knowing the fine structure of NS cells is essential for characterizing them during differentiation or oncogenic transformation. NS are generated by culturing ovarian cortical cells (OCCs) under specific conditions. To establish whether these OCCs exhibited a similar morphophenotype as those from the central nervous system (CNS) reported in the literature, sheep OCCs were cultured for 21 days to generate NS. Expression levels of pluripotency (Nanog, octamer-binding transcription factor 4 [Oct4], and SRY-box transcription factor 2 [Sox2]) and NSCs/NPCs (nestin, paired box 6 [Pax6], and p75 neurotrophin receptor [P75NTR]) transcripts were analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), the NSC/NPC antigens were immunolocalized, and structural and ultrastructural analyses were performed in OCC-NS on Days 10, 15, and 21 in culture. Spheroids expressed transcripts and antigens of pluripotency as well as NSCs/NPCs. Cells were arranged into an inner core, with frequent apoptotic and degenerative events, and a peripheral epitheliallike cover with abundant cytoplasmic organelles, apical microvilli, and filament bundles of cytoskeleton elements. Adherens junctions and apical tight and lateral loose interdigitations were found in peripheral cells that eventually lost apical– basal polarization, which might indicate their disengaging/aggregating from/to the NS. We can conclude that OCC-NS shares the most structural and ultrastructural characteristics with CNS-NS.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2021)