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Nat Commun. 2014 Feb 25;5:3338. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4338.

In vivo conversion of astrocytes to neurons in the injured adult spinal cord.

Author information

1
1] Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6000 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, Texas 75390-9148, USA [2] Institute of Neuroscience and Key Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology of Ministry of Education, Neuroscience Research Center of Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, 800 Xiangyin Rd, Shanghai 200433, China.
2
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6000 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, Texas 75390-9148, USA.

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to irreversible neuronal loss and glial scar formation, which ultimately result in persistent neurological dysfunction. Cellular regeneration could be an ideal approach to replenish the lost cells and repair the damage. However, the adult spinal cord has limited ability to produce new neurons. Here we show that resident astrocytes can be converted to doublecortin (DCX)-positive neuroblasts by a single transcription factor, SOX2, in the injured adult spinal cord. Importantly, these induced neuroblasts can mature into synapse-forming neurons in vivo. Neuronal maturation is further promoted by treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor, valproic acid (VPA). The results of this study indicate that in situ reprogramming of endogenous astrocytes to neurons might be a potential strategy for cellular regeneration after SCI.

PMID:
24569435
PMCID:
PMC3966078
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4338
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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