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Post Brain Injury: New Nerve Cells Originate From Neural Stem Cells

Date:
March 16, 2008
Source:
German Research Center for Environmental Health
Summary:
Another step has been taken towards the understanding of processes to be able to substitute for injured brain cells after accidents. Stem cells that originate from supporting cells can evolve again into new nerve cells.

Prof. Magdalena Goetz.
Credit: Image courtesy of German Research Center for Environmental Health

Most cells in the human brain are not nerve cells, but supporting cells (glial cells). They serve as a framework for nerve cells and play an important role in the wound reaction that occurs with injuries to the brain. However, what these 'reactive glial cells' in the brains of mice and men originate from, and which cells they evolve into was unknown until now.

The study group of Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz is now able to show that after injury, these reactive glial cells in the brains of mice restart their cell division. They then become stem cells from which nerve cells can form yet again under favourable cell culture conditions.

With this came the ground-breaking proof that, in an injured region of the brain, adult neural stem cells exist that could later serve as a source of new nerve cells.

In her study group, the stem cell expert, Magdalena Götz, examines the molecular bases of cerebral development, in particular in the cerebral cortex. Götz proved in earlier investigations that glial brain cells can act as stem cells, and nerve cells emerge from glial cells.

She also pointed out which factors play a role in the cross-over from glial to neural cells. "Now, thanks to these results, the distant goal of being able to use the processes therapeutically is getting a little closer" stresses Götz.

Journal reference: Annalisa Buffo, Inmaculada Rite, Pratibha Tripathi, Alexandra Lepier, Dilek Colak, Ana-Paula Horn, Tetsuji Mori, and Magdalena Götz: "Origin and progeny of reactive gliosis: a source of multi-potent cells in the injured brain"; PNAS published 25 February, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0709002105 (Neuroscience)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by German Research Center for Environmental Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

German Research Center for Environmental Health. "Post Brain Injury: New Nerve Cells Originate From Neural Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080311165900.htm>.
German Research Center for Environmental Health. (2008, March 16). Post Brain Injury: New Nerve Cells Originate From Neural Stem Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080311165900.htm
German Research Center for Environmental Health. "Post Brain Injury: New Nerve Cells Originate From Neural Stem Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080311165900.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

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