Japanese Scientists Create Brain Cells from Stem Cells

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Japanese Scientists Create Brain Cells from Stem Cells

Postby marcstck » Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:11 pm

Japanese Scientists Create Brain Cells from Stem Cells

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Japanese scientists create brain cells from stem cells
Posted February 11, 2005 in ALS Research
Copyright 2005 Jiji Press Ltd.
Jiji Press Ticker Service
February 10, 2005, Thursday
LENGTH: 672 words
DATELINE: Tokyo, Feb. 10

Using a newly developed cell culture method, mouse ES cells, pluripotent cells that can develop into various tissues and organs, were differentiated into nerve cells at a success rate of 90 pct, said the scientists led by Yoshiki Sasai, director of the Organogenesis and Neurogenesis Group of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology.

The Sasai team, also comprising researchers of Kyoto University, the University of Tokyo and Osaka City University, had previously established a protocol for inducing neural differentiation using a coculture system with stromal cells called PA6. But under the method, cerebral cells are generated at a low frequency only.

To boost the yield rate, the team optimized the ES cell culture conditions for neural differentiation without feeder cells and serum, and temporarily blocked signals that have negative effects on mammalian neural differentiation.

Further analyses revealed that some 40 pct of the nerve cells produced were cerebral precursor cells, compared with one pct to 2 pct attained in the conventional directed differentiation method.

Confirming that the telencephalic precursors differentiated into cerebral cortices and basal nuclei, the team claimed mass production of cerebral cells from mouse ES cells was achieved in vitro.

The mass-production method, when applied to human ES cells, is expected to contribute to facilitating work to reveal the onset mechanisms of such neurodegenerative diseases as Huntington's and Alzheimer's and accelerating the development of drugs to treat cerebral disorders, the scientists said.

Details of the research project were published in Nature Neuroscience.
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