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UCLA stem cells scientists make electrically active motor neurons from iPS cells
Date:2/24/2009

oratory to uncover their causes. Motor neurons are lost in many conditions, including spinal cord injury, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

"A primary objective of human embryonic stem cell and human iPS cell technology is to be able to generate relevant cell types to enable the repair of tissue damage and in vitro modeling of human disease processes," the study states. "Here, we demonstrate the successful generation of electrically active motor neurons from multiple human iPS cell lines and provide evidence that these neurons are molecularly and physiologically indistinguishable from motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells."

Much may be learned from studying the iPS-derived motor neurons and comparing them to motor neurons derived from patients with neurological disorders to see how they differ. The next step for Lowry and his team is to combine the motor neurons with muscle cells to see if they can stimulate a response. If they do, researchers should be able to see the muscle cells contract.


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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-435-9457
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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