Scientists at the University of Connecticut Health Center have successfully converted stem cells derived from the adult skin cells of four humans into region-specific forebrain, midbrain, and spinal cord neurons (nerve cells) with functions. The research is a key step toward realizing the cells’ potential to treat various neurodegenerative diseases.
The UConn team, led by Dr. Ren-He Xu, director of the Health Center’s Stem Cell Core facility, and Dr. Xuejun Li, a neural scientist in the Neuroscience Department, recently published a paper describing how they used cell reprogramming protocols to first transform the adult tissue into "induced pluripotent stem cells" that are all but identical to embryonic stem cells.
This involved treating the adult skin cells with a specialized culture that caused them to regress in their development to an embryonic-like “pluripotent” state, capable of differentiating into any of the many tissue types in the body. The researchers then exposed these reprogrammed human cells (hiPSC) to a series of chemical mixtures to drive them into becoming specialized neuronal cells........Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/1826