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Researchers Discover Gene Essencial to Cerebellum Formation

ch appears to play a role in the nervous system, is also involved in the development of the cerebellum. In order to test their idea, and characterize the new mechanism of cell differentation, the authors used mice with a disactivated gene that codes for the Ptf1a/48 protein, and compared them with mice that express the gene normally. Their conclusions provide new insight into origin of nerve cells that form the cerebellum in higher organisms.

In a second research project, led by Francisco Real and Eduardo Soriano and funded by the Fundació La Caixa, the scientists aim to explore the potential of this gene to produce Purkinje neurons in a laboratory setting. The researchers will investigate whether the expression of Ptf1a/p48 can induce the production of Purkinje cells from stem cells and neurospheres, progenitor cells of adult neurons. This study is an important step toward understanding rare diseases, such as cerebellar ataxias, which is characterized by the degeneration of Purkinje cells. Producing this type of cell in the lab may lead to future neuronal replacement therapy.

Source-Eurekalert
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