Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem cells for eating and sex pinpointed

Date:
July 22, 2010
Source:
George Washington University Medical Center
Summary:
New research has identified the stem cells that generate three critical classes of nerve cells -- olfactory receptors, vomeronasal and gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons -- that are responsible for enabling animals and humans, to eat, interact socially and reproduce.

New research, published in the journal Development, by Dr. Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, professor of Pharmacology & Physiology and director of the newly formed GW Institute for Neuroscience, and his colleagues have identified the stem cells that generate three critical classes of nerve cells -- olfactory receptors (ORNs), vomeronasal (VRNs) and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons -- that are responsible for enabling animals and humans, to eat, interact socially and reproduce.

This research is the first evidence identfying these stem cells. By studying mice at the earliest stages of embryonic development, LaMantia and his colleagues were able to identify the location of these cells, confirm that they divide slowly and symmetrically -- thus making more stem cells, have a distinct molecular identity, and give rise to all cell types in the tissue -- including ORNs, VRNs and GnRH neurons. These embryonic olfactory stem cells also are ultimately responsible for generating stem cells that remain in the lining of the nose throughout life and make new ORNs and VRNs. Thus these stem cells are also essential to enable a rare example of nervous system regeneration that continues throughout life.

"By identifying these stems cells, our research will help physicians understand why people have certain genetic, neurological, and mental disabilities. Olfaction is often compromised early in the course of a number of serious diseases including autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease, and GnRH deficiency is important in many cases of infertility. It is my hope that in the future, we will combine this sort of cell and molecular biology with clinical practice to develop better treatments for patients with these disorders," said Dr. LaMantia.

To identify the early olfactory stem cell, Dr. LaMantia and his colleagues used multiple methods to define the identity and potential of dividing cells in the embryonic tissue that eventually becomes the nasal epithelium -- the sheet of nerve cells that lines the nasal cavity. The researchers studied these tissues using molecular markers to distinguish different classes of cells and recombinant DNA technology as well as mutant mice to assess how several key genes define olfactory stem cell identity. They found a subset of cells that divide slowly and symmetrically -- suggesting that these were indeed, the stem cells. They also showed that these cells were self renewing -- another essential characteristic of stem cells. They defined several molecules that influence whether these stem cells remain as stem cells or divide terminally to make olfactory, vomeronasal and GnRH neurons. Finally, they showed that these stem cells uniquely give rise to ORNs, VRNs, and GnRH neurons.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by George Washington University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. S. Tucker, M. K. Lehtinen, T. Maynard, M. Zirlinger, C. Dulac, N. Rawson, L. Pevny, A.-S. LaMantia. Proliferative and transcriptional identity of distinct classes of neural precursors in the mammalian olfactory epithelium. Development, 2010; DOI: 10.1242/dev.049718

Cite This Page:

George Washington University Medical Center. "Stem cells for eating and sex pinpointed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721132643.htm>.
George Washington University Medical Center. (2010, July 22). Stem cells for eating and sex pinpointed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721132643.htm
George Washington University Medical Center. "Stem cells for eating and sex pinpointed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721132643.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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