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Objective:Cellular diversity in the mammalian central nervous system is originated from precursor cells present in the neural ectoderm. The multipotent neural stem cells(NSCs) rapidly proliferate to give rise to transiently dividing progenitors that eventually differentiate into several cell types of neural cells. The authors investigate whether NSCs could differentiate neurons and glia and express neurotrophic factor. Methods:To establish human neural cell lines, we isolated neural stem cells from human fetal telencephalon. Secondly, to investigate the expression of neurotrophic factor, basic fibroblast growth factor(bFGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF) and glial derived neurotrophic factor(GDNF) in rat and human cell, mRNA expressions of bFGF, BDNF and GDNF were detected by the reverse transcripted polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR) analysis. Results:In the NSCs cultures of embryonic rat striata and human fetal telencephalon, we demonstrated that bFGF induces the proliferation of stem cell, which give rise to spheres of undifferentiated cell that generate neurons and glia. Also, neurotrophic factor transcripts were identified using PCR in rat and human NSCs. Conclusion:These results demonstrate that human NSCs derived from human fetal telencephalon could differentiate neurons and glia and express neurotrophic factors. Therefore, NSCs may be an important key for the therapeutic application of neurotrophic factors. Key words:Neural stem cell;Central nervous system;Telencephalon;bFGF;BDNF;GDNF.