Navigation Links
Stanford researchers turn skin cells directly into the cells that insulate neurons
Date:4/15/2013

STANFORD, Calif. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have succeeded in transforming skin cells directly into oligodendrocyte precursor cells, the cells that wrap nerve cells in the insulating myelin sheaths that help nerve signals propagate.

The current research was done in mice and rats. If the approach also works with human cells, it could eventually lead to cell therapies for diseases like inherited leukodystrophies disorders of the brain's white matter and multiple sclerosis, as well as spinal cord injuries. The study will be published online April 14 in Nature Biotechnology.

Without myelin to insulate neurons, signals sent down nerve cell axons quickly lose power. Diseases that attack myelin, such as multiple sclerosis, result in nerve signals that are not as efficient and cannot travel as far as they should. Myelin disorders can affect nerve signal transmission in the brain and spinal cord, leading to cognitive, motor and sensory problems.

Previous research in rodent disease models has shown that transplanted oligodendrocyte precursor cells derived from embryonic stem cells and from human fetal brain tissue can successfully create myelin sheaths around nerve cells, sometimes leading to dramatic improvements in symptoms. "Unfortunately, the availability of human fetal tissue is extremely limited, and the creation of OPCs from embryonic stem cells is slow and tedious," said the study's senior author, Marius Wernig, MD, assistant professor of pathology and a member of Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. "It appeared we wouldn't be able to create enough human OPCs for widespread therapeutic use, so we began to wonder if we could create them directly from skin cells."

Nan Yang, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in the Wernig laboratory and lead author of the study, pointed out that there is another advantage to using this technique. "By using the patient's own skin cells, we should be able to generate transplantable OPCs that are genetically identical to the patient's natural OPCs," Yang said. "This allows us to avoid the problem of immune rejection, which is a major complication in transplantation medicine."

Last year, Wernig's team successfully created human nerve cells out of skin cells. Other researchers had successfully used a similar process to turn skin cells into embryonic-like cells called induced pluripotent stem cells, and then grow those iPS cells into nerve cells, but Wernig's lab was the first to convert skin cells directly into nerve cells without the intermediate iPS cell step.

The team's current research project also involved directly converting skin cells into OPCs without having to create iPS cells. The researchers showed that mouse and rat skin cells could be directly converted into OPCs, and that these cells would successfully myelinate nerve cells when transplanted into the brains of mice with a myelin disorder.

Next, the team plans to reproduce the research in human cells; if successful, the approach could lay the groundwork for therapies for a wide array of myelin disorders and spinal cord injury.


'/>"/>

Contact: Krista Conger
kristac@stanford.edu
650-725-5371
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Invasive heart test being dramatically overused, Stanford study shows
2. New type of retinal prosthesis could better restore sight to blind, Stanford study says
3. Antioxidant shows promise as treatment for certain features of autism, Stanford study finds
4. Stanford researchers discover the African cichlids noisy courtship ritual
5. Proposed testosterone testing of some female olympians challenged by Stanford scientists
6. Stanford study shows opiates side effects rooted in patients genetics
7. Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment announces 2012 Environmental Venture Project awards
8. New Stanford method enables sequencing of fetal genomes using only maternal blood sample
9. Community health centers compare well with private practices, Stanford researcher finds
10. Stanford/Intel study details power of new chip to diagnose disease, analyze protein interactions
11. Mathematics or memory? Stanford study charts collision course in brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... It's not always common knowledge whether or not a ... unclear as to whether or not they are contagious, and most people don't know ... So, FindaTopDoc took a look into the matter. , They discovered that the ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... April 28, ... ... Shiel Medical Laboratory to expanded distribution of the GlycoMark test throughout the Northeast ... indicates recent hyperglycemia in patients with diabetes. The GlycoMark test provides a clinically ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... been previously exposed to more adverse experiences than children in the general population. ... such as abuse, neglect or other family challenges. While no fault of their ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... ... Bill Howe started his sewer and drain company in 1980 focusing heavily ... team, the Bill Howe brand was born and they began cultivating their mission to ... the San Diego community in which they worked, lived and were raising their daughters. ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Woolsy Corporation ... supplements, through its Nova Skin Sciences division, recently announced the launch of Allumière ... with the power of an anti-aging concentrate. , Anogeissus Leiocarpa Bark ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the ... Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, Key Players, Competitive Strategies ... ... was valued at US$ 7,167.6 Mn in 2015, and is ... a CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 to 2024. ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - CRH Medical Corporation (TSX: CRH) (NYSE ... Bloom Burton & Co. Healthcare Investor Conference 2017 at the Sheraton ... Edward Wright , Chief Executive Officer of the Company is scheduled ... CFO, Richard Bear and the Chairman of the Board, ... ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017 Global Surgical Drainage Device Market: ... used to remove excess liquid and air. The fluid ... bile or lymph. Surgical drains are used in a ... orthopedics surgery, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery etc. Common ... prevent accumulation of fluid e.g. blood or pus. Surgical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: