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Science. 2000 Sep 8;289(5485):1754-7.

Oligodendrocyte precursor cells reprogrammed to become multipotential CNS stem cells.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Developmental Neurobiology Programme, MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and the Biology Department, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


During animal development, cells become progressively more restricted in the cell types to which they can give rise. In the central nervous system (CNS), for example, multipotential stem cells produce various kinds of specified precursors that divide a limited number of times before they terminally differentiate into either neurons or glial cells. We show here that certain extracellular signals can induce oligodendrocyte precursor cells to revert to multipotential neural stem cells, which can self-renew and give rise to neurons and astrocytes, as well as to oligodendrocytes. Thus, these precursor cells have greater developmental potential than previously thought.

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