A Poly-D-lysine-Coated Coralline Matrix Promotes Hippocampal Neural Precursor Cells’ Differentiation into GFAP-Positive Astrocytes

Roni Mina Hendler, Orly Eva Weiss, Tzachy Morad, Guy Sion, Michael Kirby, Zvy Dubinsky, Ayan Barbora, Refael Minnes, Danny Baranes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A major goal of regenerative medicine of the central nervous system is to accelerate the regeneration of nerve tissue, where astrocytes, despite their positive and negative roles, play a critical role. Thus, scaffolds capable of producing astrocytes from neural precursor cells (NPCs) are most desirable. Our study shows that NPCs are converted into reactive astrocytes upon cultivation on coralline-derived calcium carbonate coated with poly-D-lysine (PDL-CS). As shown via nuclei staining, the adhesion of neurospheres containing hundreds of hippocampal neural cells to PDL-CS resulted in disaggregation of the cell cluster as well as the radial migration of dozens of cells away from the neurosphere core. Migrating cells per neurosphere averaged 100 on PDL-CS, significantly higher than on uncoated CS (28), PDL-coated glass (65), or uncoated glass (20). After 3 days of culture on PDL-CS, cell migration plateaued and remained stable for four more days. In addition, NPCs expressing nestin underwent continuous morphological changes from round to spiky, extending and elongating their processes, resembling activated astrocytes. The extension of the process increased continuously during the maturation of the culture and doubled after 7 days compared to day 1, whereas bifurcation increased by twofold during the first 3 days before plateauing. In addition, nestin positive cells’ shape, measured through the opposite circularity level correlation, decreased approximately twofold after three days, indicating spiky transformation. Moreover, nestin-positive cells co-expressing GFAP increased by 2.2 from day 1 to 7, reaching 40% of the NPC population on day 7. In this way, PDL-CS promotes NPC differentiation into reactive astrocytes, which could accelerate the repair of neural tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4054
Issue number20
StatePublished - 11 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


A portion of this work was funded by the Israeli Innovation Authority (Kamin project).

FundersFunder number
Israel Innovation Authority


    • astrocytes
    • calcium carbonate
    • glial fibrillary acidic protein
    • hippocampal cells
    • nestin
    • neural progenitor cells
    • polylysine


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