Human Brain Cells Restore Myelin and Motor Function in Mouse Multiple Sclerosis Model
May 29, 2020 | Biotechnology
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Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) have demonstrated how human glial progenitor cells (hGPCs) transplanted into animal models of multiple sclerosis, and other white matter diseases, can migrate through the brain, remyelinate damaged nerve cells, and restore function. The study provides one of the final pieces of scientific evidence needed to advance this treatment strategy to clinical trials. “These findings demonstrate that through the transplantation of human glial cells, we can effectively achieve remyelination in the adult brain,” said Steve Goldman, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neuroscience, co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine, and lead author of the researchers’ published paper in Cell Reports. “These findings have significant therapeutic implications and represent a proof-of-concept for future clinical trials for multiple sclerosis and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases.” The team’s studies represent the culmination of more than 15 years of research at URMC, understanding how supporting glial cells in the brain develop and function, and their role in neurological disorders, and are described in a paper titled, “Human Glial Progenitor Cells Effectively Remyelinate the Demyelinated Adult Brain.”
Goldman’s lab has developed techniques to manipulate the chemical signaling of embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to create glia. A subtype of these, the glial progenitor cells, give rise to the brain’s main support cells, including oligodendrocytes, which are the sole source of myelin in the adult central nervous system. Loss of oligodendrocytes or their dysfunction underpins a range of diseases in both children and adults, including hereditary leukodystrophies in children, and multiple sclerosis, white matter stroke, and a broad range of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatr... You can view the entire article in the GEN Blog.
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