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Science. 1997 Apr 4;276(5309):66-71.

Stem cells in the central nervous system.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


In the vertebrate central nervous system, multipotential cells have been identified in vitro and in vivo. Defined mitogens cause the proliferation of multipotential cells in vitro, the magnitude of which is sufficient to account for the number of cells in the brain. Factors that control the differentiation of fetal stem cells to neurons and glia have been defined in vitro, and multipotential cells with similar signaling logic can be cultured from the adult central nervous system. Transplanting cells to new sites emphasizes that neuroepithelial cells have the potential to integrate into many brain regions. These results focus attention on how information in external stimuli is translated into the number and types of differentiated cells in the brain. The development of therapies for the reconstruction of the diseased or injured brain will be guided by our understanding of the origin and stability of cell type in the central nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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