Study: Neural stem cells are long-lived

October 5, 2005

New York University researchers have determined immature stem cells that proliferate in mice to form brain tissue are long-lived.

The research demonstrates such stem cells can function for at least a year -- most of the life span of a mouse -- and produce multiple types of neural cells, not just neurons.

Scientists say the discovery may bode well for the use of such neural stem cells to regenerate brain tissue lost to injury or disease.

Alexandra Joyner, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at New York University's School of Medicine, and her former postdoctoral fellow, Sohyun Ahn, said the technique they used to trace the fate of stem cells might also be used to understand the roles of stem cells in tissue repair and cancer progression.

The study appears in the Oct. 6 issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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