Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Scientists Grow Brain Cells in a Dish

"Steindler and his team extracted glial-fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP+) cells from a region called the subventricular zone, which lies deep within the brain. They worked with cells from adult mice, but say humans possess these exact same cells. The brain cells were frozen with liquid nitrogen for storage. After thawing the cells, they put them on dishes coated with growth-inducing chemicals, such as polyornithine and laminin. Other chemicals, including retinoic acid and a cytosine compound, were used to control differentiation. Defined neuroblast generators, or cells that produce young nerve cells in the brain, appeared four days after the cells started to differentiate. These cells, in turn, were induced into forming the three main types of brain cells: neurons, which relay messages; astrocytes, which form a barrier between the brain and blood; and oligodendrocytes, which help to form insulation around neurons." Discovery Channel :: News :: Scientists Grow Brain Cells in a Dish