Extracellular vesicles (EVs) can modulate microenvironments by transferring biomolecules, including RNAs and proteins derived from releasing cells, to target cells. To understand the molecular mechanisms maintaining the neural stem cell (NSC) niche through EVs, a new transgenic (Tg) rat strain that can release human CD63-GFP-expressing EVs from the NSCs was established. Human CD63-GFP expression was controlled under the rat Sox2 promoter (Sox2/ human CD63-GFP), and it was expressed in undifferentiated fetal brains. GFP signals were specifically observed in in vitro cultured NSCs obtained from embryonic brains of the Tg rats. We also demonstrated that embryonic NSC (eNSC)-derived EVs were labelled by human CD63-GFP. Furthermore, when we examined the transfer of EVs, eNSC-derived EVs were found to be incorporated into astrocytes and eNSCs, thus implying an EV-mediated communication between different cell types around NSCs. This new Sox2/human CD63-GFP Tg rat strain should provide resources to analyse the cell-to-cell communication via EVs in NSC microenvironments.
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