Delphine Delaunay, Universität California, San Diego, USA

Promoting neurogenesis by regulating stem cell asymmetric division

Funded in: 2008, 2009


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Spinal cord injury has been recognized as one of the conditions for which stem cell transplantation might be beneficial. Cell replacement therapy depends on the efficient production (proliferation) of stem cells maturating into neurons, and later into cortical motor neurons or spinal cord motor neurons. However, the yield of neurons derived from both embryonic and neural stem cells in vitro is generally low, even with the most successful protocol to generate the spinal cord motor neurons. This project aims at understanding how neurons are “born” under normal conditions during development (asymmetric division) and to apply this knowledge to improve culture conditions subsequently. This should then increase the yield of the number of neuronal cells generated from neural stem cells. This may lead to more specific and thereby potentially successful stem cell transplantations.