Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Replacing faulty neurons

08.11.2010
An effective method for generating cerebellar neurons could lead to new treatments for movement disorders

Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe, have shown that neurons called Purkinje cells can not only be generated from embryonic stem (ES) cells, but can also become fully integrated into existing neuronal circuits when transplanted into the brains of mouse fetuses1.

Purkinje cells are the largest neuronal subtype in the mammalian brain, and their output in the brain region called the cerebellum controls balance, co-ordination and movement.

Yoshiki Sasai and his colleagues cultured ES cells and then treated them at different times with the hormone insulin, the naturally occurring chemical cyclopamine, and a protein called fibroblast growth factor 2, which normally induces the differentiation of Purkinje cells at a specific location in the developing hindbrain.

This treatment caused the ES cells to express genes that are specific for Purkinje cells, and then to differentiate into mature neurons with the extensive, two-dimensional dendritic tree and electrical properties that are characteristic of Purkinje cells. They found that the differentiation of the cells recapitulate the events that take place during neural development. The Purkinje cell-specific genes were expressed in the same sequence as in the embryo, and the immature cells exited the cell cycle, or stopped dividing, on a timescale comparable to that of the neurons in the developing cerebellum.

Sasai and colleagues then separated immature Purkinje cells from the ES cell cultures, and transplanted them into the brains of embryonic mice, injecting approximately 10,000 cells into each animal. They found that the transplanted cells integrated effectively into their proper location within the circuitry of the cerebellum. The majority began to express Purkinje cell genes between 1 to 4 weeks after transplantation, and then differentiated into mature neurons, each with a long axon projecting down into the deep cerebellar nuclei.

The methods of Sasai and his team significantly improve on earlier methods for generating Purkinje cells from ES cell cultures. By successfully reproducing the microenvironment of the developing cerebellum, they generated up to 30-fold more Purkinje cells than previous methods.

These results therefore raise the possibility of developing cell transplantation therapies the cerebellar ataxias, a group of movement disorders characterized by severe motor in-coordination, which occur because of Purkinje cell degeneration.

“As a next step, we are attempting to generate Purkinje cells from human ES cells,” says Sasai. “This technology would be useful in establishing an in vitro disease model for spinocerebellar ataxia, to investigate its pathogenesis and to explore the possibility of gene therapy for this genetic disease.”

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Organogenesis and Neurogenesis Group, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology

Journal information

Muguruma, K., Nishiyama, A., Ono, Y., Miyawaki, H., Mizuhara, E., Hori, S., Kakizuka, A., Obata, K., Yanagawa, Y., Hirano, T. & Sasai, Y. Ontogeny-recapitulating generation and tissue integration of ES cell-derived Purkinje cells. Nature Neuroscience 13, 1171–1180 (2010)

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/eng/research/6449
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>