Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jefferson Scientists Find New Way To Convert Adult Human Stem Cells To Dopamine Neurons

Date:
October 26, 2004
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College have found a new way to coax bone marrow stem cells into becoming dopamine-producing neurons. If the method proves reliable, the work may ultimately lead to new therapies for neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease, which is marked by a loss of dopamine-making cells in the brain.

Researchers at Jefferson Medical College have found a new way to coax bone marrow stem cells into becoming dopamine-producing neurons. If the method proves reliable, the work may ultimately lead to new therapies for neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease, which is marked by a loss of dopamine-making cells in the brain.

Related Articles


Developmental biologist Lorraine Iacovitti, Ph.D., associate director of the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and her co-workers had previously shown that by using a potion of growth factors and other nutrients in the laboratory, they were able to convert adult human bone marrow stem cells into adult brain cells. Human adult bone marrow stem cells – also known as pluripotent stem cells – normally give rise to human bone, muscle, cartilage and fat cells.

While nearly all cells looked like neurons with axonal processes, they invariably reverted back to their original undifferentiated state in two to three days.

Dr. Iacovitti and her co-workers instead attempted to grow the cells in a different way. Rather than an attached monolayer of skin-like cells, they grew the bone marrow cells in suspension as neurospheres – groups of cells early in development – akin to the way neural stem cells are grown.

They found that the newly differentiated cells didn't merely look like dopamine neurons, but expressed traits of neurons and related cells called astrocytes and oligodendrocytes – cells derived from neural stem cells. What's more, the neurons produced tyrosine hydroxylase, an enzyme needed to make dopamine.

She reports her team's findings October 25, 2004 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego.

The Jefferson scientists also found a second enzyme involved in dopamine production, and an important molecule called the dopamine transporter.

Interestingly, Dr. Iacovitti notes, some of the cellular markers that would be expected to be expressed by new bone marrow cells were present in bone marrow stem cells grown in the original monolayers, though they were fewer in number.

"The markers don't disappear," explains Dr. Iacovitti, who is also professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. "The cells seem to have markers of both bone marrow cells and dopamine neurons all the time. They don't forsake what they normally would be."

While she can't say for sure whether or not the stem cells grown with the new method have markers of both bone marrow stem cells and dopamine neurons, the new dopamine neurons did not revert back to stem cells.

"There are limitations to differentiating adult stem cells the way we want them – to get them to permanently give up being what they were meant to be and become neurons," she says. "Maybe this is a way to grow these stem cells to get them to truly become dopamine neurons instead of just looking like neurons.

"If we can now appropriately direct the differentiation of bone marrow stem cells, these cells could provide an abundant source of adult human neurons for use in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases," she says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Jefferson Scientists Find New Way To Convert Adult Human Stem Cells To Dopamine Neurons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025120923.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2004, October 26). Jefferson Scientists Find New Way To Convert Adult Human Stem Cells To Dopamine Neurons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025120923.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Jefferson Scientists Find New Way To Convert Adult Human Stem Cells To Dopamine Neurons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041025120923.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins