July 2009 – Advances towards stem cell therapy for traumatic and degenerative disorders of the nervous system

In two papers published in June and July of 2009, investigators in the Koliatsos Lab have shown that ex vivo and human embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived neural stem cells differentiate into neurons and engage in circuit formation in the adult mammalian spinal cord and brain (Xu et al, J Comp Neurol 2009; 514:297-309; Nasonkin et al, Stem Cells 2009; 27: 2414-26). The neuronally differentiated stem cells form structurally mature, mostly inhibitory, synapses with host neurons in the ventral horn and the forebrain. This work sets the stage for circuit repair in a variety of traumatic and degenerative diseases.