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Category Archives: Stem Cells in Neurological Disease

Lipid metabolism regulates the activity of adult neural stem cells

“Neural stem cells in the adult brain boost their levels of lipid metabolism to grow and generate new neurons. This new finding may open novel therapeutic avenues to treat age- or disease-associated loss of brain cells.”

Lipid metabolism regulates the activity of adult neural stem cells.

A dormant stem cell (left, with extensions) is activated and starts cell division. The key for growth and development of the dividing cell (middle, no extensions) to the adult nerve cell (red, right), is a massive increase of fatty acid synthesis. (Image: Simon Braun, HiFo, UZH)

Courtesy of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

 

Someone Somewhere

Brain cells called pericytes can be reprogrammed into neurons with just two proteins, pointing to a novel way to treat neurodegenerative disorders.

Making new neurons in the brain may not be as hard as once believed. Using just two proteins and without any cell divisions, scientists from Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich succeeded in reprogramming brain cells known as pericytes into neurons in both cultured cells from humans and mice. The findings, published today (October 4) in Cell Stem Cell, could have implications for patients with degenerative brain disorders.

“We are not there yet, but the hope is that we can eventually treat neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s by in situ reprogramming,” said Ludwig-Maximilians’ Benedikt Berninger, lead author on the study.

Since 2011, other scientists including Marius Wernig, a stem cell biologist from the Stanford School of Medicine, have transformed skin cells directly into neurons using three or four proteins…

View original post 485 more words

 

Carbon nanotubes and stem cell differentiation

Moon et al published a study in the International Journal of Nanomedicine providing evidence that carbon nanotubes improve stem cell differentiation in repair of damage due to stroke.
This in vivo study performed on stroke afflicted murines compared both hydophilic(HL) and hydrophobic(HP) carbon nanotubes impregnated with neural progenitor cells(NPC).

“Results showed that the HP CNT-SVZ NPC transplants improved rat behavior and reduced infarct cyst volume and infarct cyst area compared with the experimental control and the HL CNT-SVZ NPC and SVZ NPCs alone groups.”

Of Note: The findings are in favour of the positive effects of hydrophobic carbon nanotubes, both in terms of Nestin, a stemness biomarker, and proliferation around the site of injury.
“The majority of the transplanted HP CNT-SVZ NPCs collectively broadened around the ischemic injured region.”

We await further work in this area!

Full text here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22701320

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iPSC models used to identify critical proteins involved in Huntingtons disease

In this study by Chae et al. published in the Biochemical Journal, 26 differentially expressed proteins were identified as being critical to the etiology of HD. In particular, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and peroxiredoxins are significantly affected, implying the significance of oxidative stress in HD.

Once again, the value of iPSC in disease modelling is demonstrated.

Link here:

http://www.biochemj.org/bj/imps/abs/BJ20111495.htm

image:Dr. Steven Finkbeiner, Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease

 

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