Ilknur Ozen

Lund University, Lund, Skåne, Sweden

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Publications (5)32.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Pericytes are located on the abluminal side of endothelial cells lining the microvasculature in all organs. They have been identified as multipotent progenitor cells in several tissues of the body including the human brain. New evidence suggests that pericytes contribute to tissue repair, but their role in the injured brain is largely unknown. Here, we investigate the role of pericytes in ischemic stroke. Using a pericyte-reporter mouse model, we provide unique evidence that regulator of G-protein signaling 5 expressing cells are activated pericytes that leave the blood vessel wall, proliferate and give rise to microglial cells after ischemic brain injury. Consistently, we show that activated pericytes express microglial markers in human stroke brain tissue. We demonstrate that human brain-derived pericytes adopt a microglial phenotype and upregulate mRNA specific for activated microglial cells under hypoxic conditions in vitro. Our study indicates that the vasculature is a novel source of inflammatory cells with a microglial phenotype in brain ischemia and hence identifies pericytes as an important new target for the development of future stroke therapies.
    Acta Neuropathologica 05/2014; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    Ilknur Ozen, Jordi Boix, Gesine Paul
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    ABSTRACT: Perivascular adult stem cells have been isolated from several tissues, including the adult human brain. They have unique signatures resembling both pericytes and mesenchymal stem cells. Understanding the nature of these cells in their specific vascular niches is important to determine their clinical potential as a new adult stem cell source. Indeed, they have promising features in vitro in terms of multipotency, immunomodulation and secretion of growth factors and cytokines. However, their in vivo function is less known as yet. Recent emerging data show a crucial role of perivascular mesenchymal stem cells in tissue homeostasis and repair. Furthermore, these cells may play an important role in adult stem cell niche regulation and in neurodegeneration. Here we review the recent literature on perivascular mesenchymal stem cells, discuss their different in vitro functions and highlight especially the specific properties of brain-derived perivascular mesenchymal stem cells. We summarize current evidence that suggests an important in vivo function of these cells in terms of their regenerative potential that may indicate a new target cell for endogenous tissue regeneration and repair.
    Clinical and translational medicine. 01/2012; 1(1):30.
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    ABSTRACT: The adult mouse subependymal zone (SEZ) harbors neural stem cells that are thought to exclusively generate GABAergic interneurons of the olfactory bulb. We examined the adult generation of glutamatergic juxtaglomerular neurons, which had dendritic arborizations that projected into adjacent glomeruli, identifying them as short-axon cells. Fate mapping revealed that these originate from Neurog2- and Tbr2-expressing progenitors located in the dorsal region of the SEZ. Examination of the progenitors of these glutamatergic interneurons allowed us to determine the sequential expression of transcription factors in these cells that are thought to be hallmarks of glutamatergic neurogenesis in the developing cerebral cortex and adult hippocampus. Indeed, the molecular specification of these SEZ progenitors allowed for their recruitment into the cerebral cortex after a lesion was induced. Taken together, our data indicate that SEZ progenitors not only produce a population of adult-born glutamatergic juxtaglomerular neurons, but may also provide a previously unknown source of progenitors for endogenous repair.
    Nature Neuroscience 11/2009; 12(12):1524-33. · 14.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known of the transcription factors expressed by adult neural progenitors produced in the hippocampal neurogenic niche. Here, we study the expression of the proneural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor Neurogenin-2 (Ngn2) in the adult hippocampus. We have characterized the pattern of expression of Ngn2 in the adult hippocampus using immunostaining for Ngn2 protein and a Ngn2-green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter mouse strain. A significant proportion of Ngn2-expressing cells were mitotically active. Ngn2-GFP expression was restricted to the subgranular zone and declined with age. Neuronal markers were used to determine the phenotype of Ngn2-expressing cells. The vast majority of Ngn2-GFP-positive cells expressed the immature neuronal markers, doublecortin (DCX) and polysialic acid-neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM). Finally, the pattern of Ngn2 expression was studied following seizure induction. Our data show an increase in neurogenesis, detected in these animals by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and DCX staining that was contemporaneous with a marked increase in Ngn2-GFP-expression. Taken together, our results show that Ngn2-GFP represents a specific marker for neurogenesis and its modulation in the adult hippocampus. Ngn2 transient expression in proliferating neuronal progenitors supports the idea that it plays a significant role in adult neurogenesis.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 06/2007; 25(9):2591-603. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dentate gyrus continues to produce new granule cells throughout life. Understanding the mechanisms underlying their integration into the pre-existing hippocampal circuitry is of crucial importance. In the present study, we developed an approach allowing visual tracking of newborn granule cells in hippocampal organotypic slices. By crossing neurogenin 2 (Ngn2-CreER) with Cre-reporter mice expressing YFP or GFP reporter genes, it was possible to observe living cells after treating slice cultures with 4-hydroxytamoxifen to induce Cre recombinase activation. Colocalization of GFP with the mitotic marker BrdU demonstrated that the GFP-expressing granule cells were born in vitro. They mature and integrate normally into the hippocampal circuitry, as shown using morphological and electrophysiological techniques. This ex vivo approach therefore offers a highly accessible model to study the effects of long-term treatments on maturation and integration of newborn granule cells.
    Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 09/2006; 32(4):344-55. · 3.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

201 Citations
32.16 Total Impact Points


  • 2012–2014
    • Lund University
      • • Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö
      • • Department of Clinical Sciences
      Lund, Skåne, Sweden
  • 2006–2007
    • University of Cambridge
      • • Department of Clinical Neurosciences
      • • Brain Repair Centre
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom