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Neurology

Scientists Discover How to Reprogram Brain Cells

15 years, 9 months ago

566  0
Posted on Oct 11, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Scientists from University College London have developed a cocktail of growth factors that reverses the life cycle of the brain cell. Toru Kondo and Martin Raff exposed oligodendrocyte precursor cells (which mature into cells that manufacture myelin) to a mixture of growth factors, effectively reprogramming the cells and reversing them to the original pluripotent stem cells.

Scientists from University College London have developed a cocktail of growth factors that reverses the life cycle of the brain cell. Toru Kondo and Martin Raff exposed oligodendrocyte precursor cells (which mature into cells that manufacture myelin) to a mixture of growth factors, effectively reprogramming the cells and reversing them to the original pluripotent stem cells. This discovery leads researchers a step closer to developing treatments for patients where they are given implants of their own cells after modification in the laboratory. Such a technique could be used to replace the neurons destroyed in Parkinson's disease.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Science 2000; 289: 1754

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