Ependymal cells have been generally considered by pathologists to be poorly responsive to insults, simply undergoing degeneration and necrosis. However, in investigations of controlled spinal injury of rats, ependymal cells and closely associated subjacent cells appear to be quite responsive, at least to trauma. Nestin and GAP-43, immunohistochemical indicators of immature neural stem cells, and glial fibrillary acid protein were detected posttrauma in in vivo cells identified as ependymal, suggesting dedifferentiation of ependymal cells to neural stem cells and glia and their potential role in spinal injury repair.
Takahashi M, Arai Y, Kurosawa H, Sueyoshi N, Shirai S. 2003. Ependymal cell reactions in spinal cord segments after compression injury in adult rat. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 62:185-194.Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12578228