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Neural Stem Cells, Neural Progenitors, and Neurotrophic Factors

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Neural stem cells (NSCs) have been proposed as a promising cellular source for the treatment of diseases in nervous systems. NSCs can self-renew and generate major cell types of the mammalian central nervous system throughout adulthood. NSCs exist not only in the embryo, but also in the adult brain neurogenic region: the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle. Embryonic stem (ES) cells acquire NSC identity with a default mechanism. Under the regulations of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and fibroblast growth factors, the NSCs then become neural progenitors. Neurotrophic and differentiation factors that regulate gene expression for controlling neural cell fate and function determine the differentiation of neural progenitors in the developing mammalian brain. For clinical application of NSCs in neurodegenerative disorders and damaged neurons, there are several critical problems that remain to be resolved: 1) how to obtain enough NSCs from reliable sources for autologous transplantation; 2) how to regulate neural plasticity of different adult stem cells; 3) how to control differentiation of NSCs in the adult nervous system. In order to understand the mechanisms that control NSC differentiation and behavior, we review the ontogeny of NSCs and other stem cell plasticity of neuronal differentiation. The role of NSCs and their regulation by neurotrophic factors in CNS development are also reviewed.
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Keywords: Differentiation; Neural stem cells; Neutrophic factors; Plasticity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Stem Cell Research Center, National Health Research Institutes, Jhunan, Taiwan 2: Stem Cell Research Center, National Health Research Institutes, Jhunan, Taiwan, Department of Internal Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA, Institute of Medical Technology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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