Post brain injury: New nerve cells originate from neural stem cells

Mar 11, 2008

Most cells in the human brain are not nerve cells, but supporting cells (glial cells). They serve as a framework for nerve cells and play an important role in the wound reaction that occurs with injuries to the brain. However, what these ‘reactive glial cells’ in the brains of mice and men originate from, and which cells they evolve into was hitherto unknown.

Now, the study group of Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz is able to show that after injury, these reactive glial cells in the brains of mice restart their cell division. They then become stem cells from which nerve cells can form yet again under favourable cell culture conditions.

With this came the ground-breaking proof that, in an injured region of the brain, adult neural stem cells exist that could later serve as a source of new nerve cells.

In her study group, the stem cell expert, Magdalena Götz, examines the molecular bases of cerebral development, in particular in the cerebral cortex. Götz proved in earlier investigations that glial brain cells can act as stem cells, and nerve cells emerge from glial cells. She also pointed out which factors play a role in the cross-over from glial to neural cells. “Now, thanks to these results, the distant goal of being able to use the processes therapeutically is getting a little closer” stresses Götz.

Source: German Research Center for Environmental Health

Explore further: Unprecedented germ diversity found in remote Amazonian tribe

Related Stories

United States, China team explore energy harvesting

35 minutes ago

Six authors have described their work in harvesting energy in a paper titled "Ultrathin, Rollable, Paper-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Acoustic Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Sound Recording." ...

China's struggle for water security

2 hours ago

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".

Canada revises upward CO2 emission data since 1990

2 hours ago

Canada revised its greenhouse gas emission data from 1990 to 2013 in a report Friday, showing it had higher carbon dioxide discharges each year, and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.

Recommended for you

Bacteria play only a minor role stomach ulcers in cattle

Apr 17, 2015

Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna investigated whether stomach ulcers in cattle are related to the presence of certain bacteria. For their study, they analysed bacteria present in ...

New research reveals how our skeleton is a lot like our brain

Apr 17, 2015

Researchers from Monash University and St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne have used mathematical modelling combined with advanced imaging technology to calculate, for the first time, the number and connectivity ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.