Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human ES Cells Progress Slowly In Myelin's Direction

Date:
April 10, 2009
Source:
Development
Summary:
Scientists have successfully created, from human embryonic stem (ES) cells, cells that can make myelin, opening up new possibilities for basic and clinical research. Myelin loss, as occurs in multiple sclerosis, stops nerves from working with devastating consequences. Creating these cells has long been a challenge partly because they take an unexpectedly long time to develop from human ES cells.

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin report in the journal Development the successful generation from human embryonic stem cells of a type of cell that can make myelin, a finding that opens up new possibilities for both basic and clinical research.

Related Articles


The cells the researchers made are called oligodendrocytes, which are responsible for making myelin in the central nervous system. Myelin forms an insulating sheath that surrounds nerve fibres, both protecting them and speeding up the transmission of nerve impulses. Its loss or damage has serious consequences, as is seen in the condition of multiple sclerosis, because without it nerves lose the ability to transmit impulses to each other and to function properly.

Unlike human embryonic stem (ES) cells, it's relatively easy to persuade mouse ES cells to turn into oligodendrocytes; it's often done by exposing these cells to a protein called Sonic Hedgehog, which produces oligodendrocytes in the spinal cord of developing embryos. Now Su-Chun Zhang and his co-workers show in the May issue of Development that treating human ES cells with this same protein also turns them into oligodendrocytes – they just take longer to do it, 14 weeks as opposed to the 2 weeks taken by mouse ES cells. They also report another difference between mouse and human ES cells: a growth factor called Fgf2 that promotes oligodendrocyte development in mouse ES cells actually stalls it in human ES cells.

As Dr Zhang reveals, these findings were quite unexpected. 'This was quite a surprise given that this is exactly how we direct mouse ES cells to become oligodendrocytes. But we have discovered an unexpected twist in the cell's response to the same external factor', explained Dr Zhang. 'It nevertheless explains why so many research groups have failed to persuade human neural stem cells to become oligodendrocytes for the past decade.'

As Dr Zhang went on to discuss, these findings are also of clinical importance. 'We are now able to generate a relatively enriched population of oligodendrocyte precursor cells that may be used to repair lost myelin sheaths. These findings also raise awareness of the direct translatability of animal studies to human biology. In this regard, the human oligodendrocytes generated from human ES cells or the generation of disease-induced pluripotent stem cells can provide a useful tool in the future for screening pharmaceuticals directly on human cells.'

The authors are from the Departments of Anatomy and Neurology at the School of Medicine and Public Health, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. They are funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Development. "Human ES Cells Progress Slowly In Myelin's Direction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090409103342.htm>.
Development. (2009, April 10). Human ES Cells Progress Slowly In Myelin's Direction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090409103342.htm
Development. "Human ES Cells Progress Slowly In Myelin's Direction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090409103342.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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