Tag Archives: Neuron

Scientists Aim to Use Embryonic Stem Cells for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, by definition, is difficult to manage, but a new study by UCSF scientists shows how a cell therapy might one day be used not only to quell some common types of persistent and difficult-to-treat pain, but also to cure the conditions that give rise to them.

The researchers, working with mice, focused on treating chronic pain that arises from nerve injury — so-called neuropathic pain.

In their study, published in the May 24, 2012 issue of Neuron, the scientists transplanted immature embryonic nerve cells that arise in the brain during development and used them to make up for a
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New neurons in an old brain

The central nervous system (CNS) contains a diverse set of neuronal subtypes, which together form the complex circuitry that regulates virtually every life function. To maintain normal body function, several systems in mammals require the simultaneous operation of a variety of neuronal subtypes, each sending different endocrine and paracrine messages to the brain. One such system is that of leptin signaling in the hypothalamus.

Leptin signaling regulates energy balance, glucose levels, food intake, and body weight. In recent work, Jeffrey Macklis, MD, Leader of HSCI’s Nervous System Diseases Program, introduced functional neurons into the hypothalami of mice with faulty leptin
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Researchers cure mice with damaged spines using human iPS cells

A team at Keio University has used stem cells to cure mice whose hind legs were paralyzed due to spinal cord damage, the researchers reported Wednesday at a Tokyo symposium.
The team transplanted neural stem cells grown from human iPS cells.

Team leader Hideyuki Okano, a physiology professor at Keio, said it is the first time in the world in which the curative effects of “induced pluripotent stem cells,” or iPS cells, have been confirmed.
Currently, there is no effective treatment for spinal nerve damage and treatment using iPS cells gives hope of a cure.

“It is valuable that treatment using human iPS
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Stem Cells May Offer New Hope For Alzheimer’s

A team of scientists has discovered what could be a novel source for researching and potentially treating Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions involving the destruction of brain cells.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco-affiliated Gladstone Institutes converted skin cells from mice and humans into brain stem cells with the use of a protein called Sox2. Using only this protein to transform the skin cells into neuron stem cells is unusual. Normally, the conversion process is much more complex.

Researchers directly turn mouse skin cells into neurons

Even Superman needed to retire to a phone booth for a quick change. But now scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have succeeded in the ultimate switch: transforming mouse skin cells in a laboratory dish directly into functional nerve cells with the application of just three genes. The cells make the change without first becoming a pluripotent type of stem cell — a step long thought to be required for cells to acquire new identities.

The finding could revolutionize the future of human stem cell therapy and recast our understanding of how cells choose and maintain their specialties
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