Published on 22 February 2009, 23:38
The brain´s reserve cells can be activated
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have found a way of activating the neuronal reserves in the brains of mice by switching off the signal that inhibits the formation of new nerve cells. The study is presented in the online edition of the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience.
Jonas Frisén Photo: Stefan Zimmerman
"So far, this is just basic research of no immediate practical significance, but the results are very exciting nonetheless," says Professor Jonas Frisén at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, who led the study.
New nerve cells are formed from stem cells in specific areas of the human brain. This process increases after a stroke, something that might explain the recovery that is often observed in patients, particularly in the first year following the onset of illness. In the present study, the scientists have demonstrated how a type of cell that does not give rise to new cells in the healthy brain is activated after a stroke in laboratory animals.
In addition to the stem cells that are normally active, there is therefore also a kind of reserve stock of cells the can be activated when demand increases. The team have identified the molecular mechanisms that control the activation of these cells, and shown that it is possible to increase the formation of new nerve cells in healthy mice by switching off the so-called Notch signalling pathway, which inhibits the creation of new nerve cells.
journal Nature Neuroscience.
Forebrain ependymal cells are Notch-dependent and generate neuroblasts and astrocytes after stroke
Nature Neuroscience AOP, 22 February 2009, doi 10.1038/nn.2268
Contact: Katarina Sternudd, +46 (0)8-524 838 95, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stem cells could set up future transplant therapies 30 October 2013, 05:22
New method for developing stem cells enables production of liver and pancreatic cells in...
Stem Cells for Metastasis Found in Blood of Breast Cancer Patients 30 April 2013, 08:43
For the first time, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National...
Breakthrough in the Understanding of Embryonic Stem Cells 5 December 2012, 08:14
A significant breakthrough in the understanding of embryonic stem cells has been made by...
Salk scientists develop faster, safer method for producing stem cells 5 December 2012, 04:34
The new method boosts cell yields and increases safety, helping to get another step closer to...
Lipid metabolism regulates the activity of adult neural stem cells 3 December 2012, 23:48
Neural stem cells in the adult brain boost their levels of lipid metabolism to grow and generate...
UCSF Study Shows Evidence that Transplanted Neural Stem Cells... 10 October 2012, 16:12
Phase I Investigation Demonstrates Signs of Engraftment and Safety at One Year.A Phase I...
UCLA scientists discover sleeping brain behaves as if it's... 8 October 2012, 04:38
UCLA researchers have for the first time measured the activity of a brain region known to be...
Scientists make old muscles young again in attempt to combat ageing 28 September 2012, 04:57
Researchers at King’s College London, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital...
Discovery of reprogramming signature may help overcome barriers to... 19 September 2012, 10:23
Salk scientists show nine genes at heart of epigenetic changes in induced pluripotent stem...
Human stem cells may hold cure for common form of deafness 12 September 2012, 13:16
A cure for deafness is a step closer after scientists funded by the MRC and Action on Hearing...