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Nature. 2006 Jun 29;441(7097):1087-93.

Generation of neuronal variability and complexity.

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Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The production of specialized differentiated neurons derived from stem cells has been proposed as a revolutionary technology for regenerative medicine. However, few examples of specific neuronal cell differentiation have been described so far. Although stem-cell tissue replacement might be seemingly straightforward in other cases, the high degree of complexity of the nervous system raises the challenge of tissue replacement substantially. Understanding mechanisms of neuronal diversification will not only be relevant for therapeutic purposes but might also shed light on the differences in cognitive abilities, personality traits and psychiatric conditions observed in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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