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 How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration
14.11.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht NIH scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis b virus-associated acute liver failure
14.11.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

NIH scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis b virus-associated acute liver failure

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs

14.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>