Astrocytes play starring role in neural stem cell development

Researchers have discovered that astrocytes -- brain cells once thought to be little more than a component of the supportive scaffold for neurons -- may actually play a starring role in triggering the maturation and proliferation of adult neural stem cells. The studies also suggest that growth factors produced by astrocytes may be critical in regenerating brain or spinal tissue that has been damaged by trauma or disease.

The discovery that astrocytes are important for neuronal maturation, or neurogenesis, was reported in the May 2, 2002, issue of the journal Nature by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Charles F. Stevens and colleagues Fred H. Gage and HHMI research associate Hong-jun Song at The Salk Institute.

Neurons are the key information-carrying cells in the central nervous system. All neurons, as well as other types of brain cells, arise from immature neural stem cells, which have the potential to develop into any kind of cell in the central nervous system.

According to Stevens, astrocytes have not traditionally been thought to be involved in neurogenesis. "Astrocytes, so-named because of their starlike shape, are glial cells, a term which is derived from the Latin word for 'glue,'" explained Stevens. "They fill in the space between neurons, and they have long been known to have a supportive role, which includes taking up neurotransmitters released by neurons. They also maintain the extracellular environment with the right concentrations of chemicals to support neurons."

Recently, however, evidence emerged that astrocytes might actually be "instructing" stem cells about which developmental pathway to select, said Stevens. For example, Stevens and his colleagues reported in a previous research article that adult neuronal stem cells proliferated more readily when they were cultured with astrocytes rather than on a layer of fibroblast cells.

Contact: Jim Keeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Knock knock knocking on rhythms neural doors
2. Molecule awakens and maintains neural connections
3. DHEA boosts growth rate of human neural stem cells
4. UC Berkeley scientists detail neural circuit that lets eye detect directional motion
5. Jefferson scientists show neural stem cells can become dopamine-making brain cells in laboratory
6. The brain uses the same neural networks to engage in conscious and unconscious learning
7. UNC neuroscientist wins federal grant to study neural stem cell genetics
8. Wishful thinking gene regulates neural development
9. Tracing the neural circuitry of second sight
10. Stanford engineer studies neural prosthetics
11. Gene controls neural stem cell growth

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: