Neurons Converted from Glial Cells
Neurons (red) converted from glial cells using a new NeuroD1-based gene therapy in mice.
It’s a race against time when someone suffers a stroke caused by a blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain. Unless clot-busting treatment is given within a few hours after symptoms appear, vast numbers of the brain’s neurons die, often leading to paralysis or other disabilities. Thanks to gene therapy, some encouraging strides are now being made towards being able to replace those lost neurons.
In a recent study in Molecular Therapy, NIH-funded researchers reported that, in their mouse and rat models of ischemic stroke, gene therapy could actually convert the brain’s glial (support) cells into new, fully functional neurons. Even better, after gaining the new neurons, the animals had improved motor and memory skills.
Read more on the NIH Director's Blog: directorsblog.nih.gov/2019/09/24/gene-therapy-shows-promi...
Credit: Chen Laboratory, Penn State, University Park
NIH support from: National Institute on Aging; National Institute of Mental Health