Neuronal replacement therapy
Arlotta, Paola Center for Nervous System Repair, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Magavi, Sanjay S. Center for Nervous System Repair, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Macklis, Jeffrey D. Center for Nervous System Repair, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Adult mammalian multipotent precursors
- Cell replacement therapies
- Endogenous versus transplanted neural precursors
- Manipulation of an inhibitory environment
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
During most of the twentieth century, it was thought that the adult human brain was completely incapable of generating new neurons. However, in the last decade the development of new techniques has resulted in an explosion of new research showing that (1) neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons, is not restricted to embryonic development but normally also occurs in at least two limited regions of the adult mammalian brain; (2) there are significant numbers of multipotent neural precursors in many parts of the adult mammalian brain; and (3) it is possible to induce neurogenesis even in regions of the adult mammalian brain, such as the neocortex, where it does not normally occur, via manipulation of endogenous multipotent precursors in situ to replace lost neurons. In the neocortex, recruitment of small numbers of new neurons can be induced in a region-specific, layer-specific, and neuronal-type-specific manner, and newly recruited neurons can form long-distance connections to appropriate targets. This suggests that elucidation of the relevant molecular controls might allow the development of neuronal replacement therapies for neurodegenerative disease and other central nervous system injuries that may not require transplantation of exogenous cells.
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