home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

Immortalizing Cells For Brain And Spinal Cord Repair

 
  February, 17 2004 10:00
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
What if there were an unlimited supply of neural cells that could be transplanted into patients to treat diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord? This futuristic scenario has become a shade more likely with the creation of 'immortal' progenitor cells that give rise only to neurons. The new research, by Steven Goldman and colleagues, is described in the March issue of Nature Biotechnology.

The authors began by collecting human fetal neural progenitor cells. Such cells turn into neurons and glia during normal development, and may therefore be useful in transplantation therapies. A major problem with these cells, however, is that their lifespan is limited. To overcome this, the authors introduced a gene called telomerase reverse transcriptase--a modification known to immortalize other types of cells--into cells extracted from the human spinal cord at a developmental stage when only certain types of neurons are produced.

The experiment yielded immortalized progenitor cells that gave rise only to neurons, or even specific types of spinal neurons, not only in culture but also after transplantation to the brain and spinal cord of live rats. Addressing a major safety concern of this approach, the authors found that the progenitor cells did not produce tumors, even at six months after implantation. Although this paper focused on the use of immortalized progenitor cells in spinal cord repair, such 'designer lines' of neuronal progenitor cells could be of great value in a wide variety of neurological diseases.

Author contact:

Steven Goldman
University of Rochester Medical School
Rochester, NY
USA
Tel: +1 585 275 9550
E-mail: Steven_Goldman@urmc.rochester.edu

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Biotechnology press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2018 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.