HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
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
keeleyj@hhmi.org
301-215-8858
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
3-May-2002


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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/4/2020)... ... March 04, 2020 , ... The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry ... IGNITE program’s 2020 IGNITE Cohort. The MedTech IGNITE Program is a virtual accelerator ... next generation of medtech founders and entrepreneurs. IGNITE Cohort members get access to ...
(Date:3/2/2020)... ... ... Toronto-based clinical research organization (CRO) and regulatory consulting firm, dicentra , has ... of Clarksburg on a farm on Beaver Valley Road. , The owners currently operate ... decided it would be a great new option for employees to relocate to. , ...
(Date:2/28/2020)... , ... February 26, 2020 ... ... that its patent-pending Rebound PRP™ and Rebound PRF® devices are now available ... new generation of regenerative medical devices, that will provide the most affordable, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2020)... ... , ... Pharmaceutical manufacturers are under increasing pressure to fast-track ... approaches like ‘Industry 4.0’ and continuous manufacturing, combat the growing and intense competition ... with an industry with the world’s tightest regulations and complex value chains, what ...
(Date:2/13/2020)... , ... February 12, 2020 , ... ... pharmacovigilance (PV) solutions and services, is adopting Veeva Vault Safety™ as ... a requirement for fast assessment of data, processing of safety information such as ...
(Date:2/5/2020)... FARMINGTON, Conn. (PRWEB) , ... February 04, 2020 ... ... that develops tools for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, has ... Limited, will sell Shoreline Biome’s microbiome kits and other products to companies and ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... ... January 28, 2020 , ... ... the exclusive distributor to food and beverage manufactures within North America. Both Lifecycle ... suppliers. This agreement will allow each company to pool their collective resources and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: