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Nat Neurosci. 2002 Dec;5(12):1271-8.

Region-specific generation of cholinergic neurons from fetal human neural stem cells grafted in adult rat.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555, USA.


Pluripotent or multipotent stem cells isolated from human embryos or adult central nervous system (CNS) may provide new neurons to ameliorate neural disorders. A major obstacle, however, is that the majority of such cells do not differentiate into neurons when grafted into non-neurogenic areas of the adult CNS. Here we report a new in vitro priming procedure that generates a nearly pure population of neurons from fetal human neural stem cells (hNSCs) transplanted into adult rat CNS. Furthermore, the grafted cells differentiated by acquiring a cholinergic phenotype in a region-specific manner. This technology may advance stem cell-based therapy to replace lost neurons in neural injury or neurodegenerative disorders.

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