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Induced Neural Stem Cells - A Safe and Effective Means to Treat Brain Tumors?

A new study finds that neural stem cells directly differentiated from fibroblasts may be an important part of an improved strategy to treat aggressive brain tumors

Immunomodulatory Function of NPCs Improves Recovery in Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis

A new study suggests that paracrine signaling from NSCs may be useful in the treatment of multiple sclerosis

Using Modified Neural Stem Cells to Inhibit Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis

A new study shows that modified neural stem cells can effectively target and inhibit the growth of brain metastases and enhance survival in a mouse model of breast cancer.


Human iPSC-derived Neural Stem Cells Promote Functional Recovery after Stroke

Researchers find that neural stem cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells may represent an important new strategy for the treatment of acute stroke.

Remyelination Rules for Stem Cell Spinal Cord Injury Repair

Detailed analysis in mice finds that the main mode by which neural stem cells mediate recovery after spinal cord injury is through the remyelination of damaged host axons.

From Rodents to Non-Human Primates - NSPCs aid Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury

A new study in a clinically relevant non-human primate model finds that neural stem/progenitor cells mediate functional recovery after transplantation into the injured spinal cord

Supportive Microcarriers Boost Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Parkinson ’s disease

Researchers find that pharmacologically active microcarriers which mediate the release of Neurotrophin 3 improve stem cell treatment in a model of Parkinsons’ Disease

Analyses of Immunosuppressants Effect on NSCs Therapeutic Function

Stem cell therapy in humans currently relies on the use of immunosuppressants to ensure long-term cell survival and function.

Spinal Cord Treatment Problems – Site not the Cells?

Therapeutic Activities of Engrafted Neural Stem/Precursor Cells Are Not Dormant in the Chronically Injured Spinal Cord

From Stem Cells

Neural stem or precursor cells (NSPCs) have tremendous promise for use in cell-based therapies for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI) as they have been shown to provide trophic support following transplantation, allowing modification of the host environment to allow some endogenous regeneration and repair in animal models (Aboody et al, Barnabe-Heider and Frisen, and Martino and Pluchino).   However, few studies have assessed their role in the chronic phase of SCI (Tetzlaff et al) and any correlation to microenvironmental factors (Thuret et al), which is potentially important for the behaviour of transplanted NSPCs.   Now, in a study published in Stem Cells from the laboratory of Seiji Okada at Kyushu University, Japan, Kumamaru et al combine flow-cytometric isolation and RNA-Seq to analyse the transcriptome of NSPCs transplanted into SCI during the chronic phase, and have demonstrated that while the cells have a positive therapeutic effect, the refractory state of the chronically injured spinal cord hampers locomotory recovery.

Explosive research reveals the dynamics of adult human neurogenesis

Original paper “Dynamics of Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Adult Humans” from Cell by Spalding et al.

In the last two decades the central dogma which dictated that no new neurons are born in the adult brain has been refuted, and the mammalian subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles and subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampal dentate gyrus are now recognised sites of adult neurogenesis.   Newborn neurons from the SVZ migrate to the olfactory bulb to provide new granule cell neurons throughout life and adult-born hippocampal neurons are implicated in pattern separation (the ability to form and use memories arising from similar stimuli) and memory formation.   Yet while some evidence exists for this capacity in adult humans, the dynamics and functional contribution of these newly generated cells to brain function still elicits strong scientific debate.   An innovative technique1 developed by Kirsty Spalding and Jonas Frisen at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, which utilises the radioactive carbon 14 isotope (14C) curve created by the dramatic increase in atmospheric 14C levels following above-ground nuclear bomb testing during the Cold War and subsequent decline following the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963, has now been used to examine the cell turnover dynamics of the adult human hippocampus.2   Their method takes advantage of the fact that new cells incorporate 14C into their genomic DNA at a concentration that mirrors atmospheric 14C at the time of their birth, creating a ‘date mark’ in the DNA.   Extrapolation of 14C concentration to the atmospheric 14C curve can therefore allow the accurate determination of the period during which a cell was born.   In their article recently published in Cell, Spalding et al.2 report their findings and reveal that a surprising proportion of human neural cells are subject to turnover, which may indicate a cognitive role for these newly generated adult cells.

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