Navigation Links
Neural stem cells lend the brain a surprising capacity for self-repair

The brain contains stem cells with a surprising capacity for repair, researchers report in the December 15 issue of the journal Cell, published by Cell Press. The novel insight into the brain's natural ability to heal might ultimately have clinical implications for the treatment of brain damage, according to the researchers.

The researchers found that mice whose brains were severely damaged by loss of the genes "Numb" and "Numblike" in one region just after birth showed substantial mending within weeks. They attributed that repair to neural stem cell "escapees" that had somehow retained or restored the genes' activity and, with it, their regenerative potential.

"At two weeks, the knockout animals' brains had developed a big hole," said Yuh-Nung Jan, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, San Francisco. "We thought that the mice would not live long, but by four weeks, the hole was largely repaired and the animals survived.

"It was a big surprise. It was not known that the brain has this kind of ability to repair itself."

Jan and his colleagues first discovered Numb in the fruit fly Drosophila more than 10 years ago. The gene was found by them and others to play a role in determining the fate of neuroblasts, cells that develop into neurons or other support cells in the insects' brains. Later, researchers found two functionally related mammalian proteins, dubbed Numb and Numblike, to be critical in the development of neurons in embryonic mice.

To investigate the genes' role after birth, Jan's team developed mice in which Numb and Numblike could be turned off only in a portion of the brain termed the subventricular zone (SVZ) when they administered a particular drug. The SVZ is known to be a site, or niche, that contains neural stem cells after birth.

In newborn mice, loss of the genes left the SVZ "greatly disturbed," Jan said.

Their results indicated that Numb and N umblike have two important functions, namely a role in the survival of neuroblasts and an unexpected role in maintaining the cellular wall that lines the ventricular region of the brain in which the SVZ resides. Without the normal complement of genes, that wall "disintegrated," he said, leaving holes in the brain.

Surprisingly, they reported, the ventricular damage was eventually repaired. SVZ reconstitution and remodeling of the ventricular wall was driven by progenitor cells that escaped Numb deletion, they found.

"Although the exact mechanisms are still being worked upon, these observations raise the possibility that postnatal neurogenesis can one day be used to repair brain damage," the researchers concluded.

"Our results here show that self-repair and local remodeling can indeed happen along the brain's lateral ventricular wall, and further insights into this process should shed light on whether SVZ neural stem cells participate in stroke/trauma-induced brain remodeling and postnatal/adult brain tumor formation. Furthermore, understanding how the SVZ cells participate in local repair should help bring us closer to the goal of using neural stem cells as therapeutic agents in neurodegenerative diseases."


Source:Cell Press

Related biology news :

1. Neural stem cell gene plays crucial role in eye development
2. Neural networking nanotubes
3. Neural bottleneck found that thwarts multi-tasking
4. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
5. Spleen may be source of versatile stem cells
6. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
7. Priming embryonic stem cells to fulfill their promise
8. Lack of enzyme turns fat cells into fat burners
9. Poor prenatal nutrition permanently damages function of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas
10. Elusive HIV shape change revealed; Key clue to how virus infects cells
11. Mouse brain cells rapidly recover after Alzheimers plaques are cleared
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Today, ... a partnership with 2XU, a global leader in ... a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing technology. The ... athletes to monitor key biometrics to improve overall ... partnership, the two companies will bring together the most ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ... controller solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, the ... Huawei. --> --> ... Google to provide strategic collaboration in the joint development ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... 2015  Delta ID Inc., a company focused on ... PC devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris ... launched by NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan ... smartphone to include iris recognition technology, after a very ... in May 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in species of ... way for more effective treatment for one of the most ... --> --> Gum disease is ... yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated with ... by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition together ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a ... leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest ... market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations ... higher volume share for the region in the ... margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market earned ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ... today reported financial results for the quarter ended ... expressed in Canadian dollars and presented under International ... United States ," said Andrew Rae ... advancements regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching ...
Breaking Biology Technology: