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Science. 1999 Jul 30;285(5428):754-6.

Embryonic stem cell-derived glial precursors: a source of myelinating transplants.

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Department of Neuropathology, University of Bonn Medical Center, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25, 53105 Bonn, Germany.


Self-renewing, totipotent embryonic stem (ES) cells may provide a virtually unlimited donor source for transplantation. A protocol that permits the in vitro generation of precursors for oligodendrocytes and astrocytes from ES cells was devised. Transplantation in a rat model of a human myelin disease shows that these ES cell-derived precursors interact with host neurons and efficiently myelinate axons in brain and spinal cord. Thus, ES cells can serve as a valuable source of cell type-specific somatic precursors for neural transplantation.

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