Shihabuddin, Lamya S. Laboratory of Genetics, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California.
Gage, Fred H. Laboratory of Genetics, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California.
- Stem cell isolation
- Influencing factors
- Stem cell source
- Therapeutic applications
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
There are multipotent stem cells in the adult brain that might not be very different from those found in other tissues capable of regeneration. Recent studies revealed that neurogenesis does occur in specific areas of the mature central nervous system in a variety of mammals, including humans. Proliferating cells provide regions such as the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb with new neurons throughout life (see illus.). Evidence from in vitro studies demonstrates that undifferentiated progenitors with characteristics of stem cells can be isolated from both neurogenic, hippocampus and subventricular zone regions, and nonneurogenic, spinal cord regions of the adult mammalian central nervous system. Stem cells are capable of proliferation, extended self-renewal, and generation of multilineage (neurons and glia) cell types. Stem cells can produce differentiated cell types while maintaining a pool of themselves. The maturation of stem cells involves a continuing loss of pluripotency and narrowing of commitment before more mature progenitors arise and migrate to regions where they fully differentiate. These studies suggest possible strategies for directed neuronal regeneration and structural repair.
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