Gene expression profiles and metabolic changes in embryonic neural progenitor cells under low oxygen.
ABSTRACT Hypoxia promotes the proliferation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs), and low oxygen is a useful tool for expansion of NPCs in vitro. To further understand the regulation of the mechanisms involved, we first identified the gene expression profile of NPCs and characterized their metabolic changes in vitro under 3% oxygen. NPCs derived from E13.5 rat mesencephalon were cultured under either normoxia or hypoxia for 24 h and 72 h. Total RNA was subjected to cDNA microarray analysis of 5705 genes. The results showed that approximately 1.24% of gene expression changed under low oxygen at the two time points. Among the 142 differentially expressed genes, the greatest number was involved in glycolysis and metabolism. The metabolic changes of NPCs under low oxygen conditions were also assayed. The glucose content in the conditioned medium incubated in low oxygen decreased significantly; however, the levels of pyruvate and lactic acid increased compared to conditioned medium cultured in normoxia. The NPCs under low oxygen consumed more glucose and produced energy by glycolysis. The information gained from gene expression and metabolic analyses of NPCs under low oxygen conditions will provide new approaches for the evaluation of NPCs as potential in vivo cellular therapeutics.