Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that adult neural stem cells that exist in the brain throughout life, are not one homogeneous population.It turned out that they are represented by several groups of cells capable of differentiating into specific types of neurons that are specific to each group.This discovery can be used in developing methods for cell therapy for various neurological diseases, for treating each of them requires certain types of nerve cells (e.g., dopaminergic neurons to treat Parkinson's disease).
Adult neural stem cells (NSC) differentiate into three major types of neural tissue cells - astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and neurons.NSC are located mainly in two areas of the brain - in the subventricular zone and in the hippocampus.It has long known that during embryonic development of the brain formed NSC certain types of neurons depending on the location of the NSC;a fully developed adult brain NSC also able to differentiate into different types of neu
purpose of this study, performed in mice, was to determine whether the NSC are uniform in different areas of the subventricular zone.It was divided into 15 regions, of which the fate of the NSC scientists were able to trace.It was found that cells from each region produce a well-defined subtype of olfactory interneurons zone.In addition, it was not possible to change the "specification" NSC - even if they move to another region of the subventricular zone, they continue to differentiate all the same subtype of interneurons.The same thing happened when grown in a culture of NSC.
results of this study suggest that although adult NSC brain can produce three types of neural tissue cells - astrocytes, and neurons olingodendrotsity - they are programmed to differentiate into neurons strictly defined subtype.Thus, we must abandon the idea that any of the NSC can obtain any kind of neuron.This can be achieved only if we can find a way to genetically reprogram these cells.Comparing the genetic profiles of the NSC from different regions of the brain, producing various types of neurons, may be able to determine which genes are responsible for the production of neurons of each type.Theoretically it is possible to activate these genes in culture of embryonic stem cells and obtain the desired type of neurons.
next stage of the work of this group of scientists will check whether the applicable results obtained in mice to humans.If human NSC also heterogeneous, for the success of cell therapy of neurological diseases will need to find the area of the brain, where it will be possible to take a certain amount of NSC programmed to differentiate into a specific type of neurons to propagate their culture and re-enter the patients.