Identification of a Novel Neural Stem Cell Type
News Jan 15, 2008
Researchers from the Sloan-Kettering Institute, led by Dr. Lorenz Studer, have discovered a novel type of neural stem cell, which has a broader differentiation potential than previously identified neural stem cells.
In culture, neural stem cells (NSCs) can readily differentiate into neuronal and glial subtypes, but their ability to differentiate into region-specific neuronal cell types is limited. Dr. Studer and colleagues isolated and cloned a population of neural rosette cells (R-NSCs), which have an expanded neuronal subtype differentiation potential.
Dr. Studer and colleagues demonstrate that R-NSCs can differentiate along both the CNS and PNS lineages, and are capable of in vivo engraftment. Furthermore, the researchers identified biomarkers unique to the R-NSC type, as well as signaling pathways required for the maintenance of the R-NSC type.
“Our data suggest that R-NSCs may represent the first neural cell type capable of recreating the full cellular diversity of the mammalian nervous system. As such, R-NSCs should have a major impact for applications in regenerative medicine and have the potential to become the "embryonic stem cell equivalent" of the nervous system,” explains Dr. Studer.
The spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins or organelles plays a crucial role in controlling various cellular processes and in development of diseases. However, acute control of activity at distinct locations within a cell cannot be achieved. A new chemo-optogenetic method enables tunable, reversible, and rapid control of activity at multiple subcellular compartments within a living cell.