Neuronal precursors from a particular region of the ventral forebrain--the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)--are capable of migrating extensively in both the embryonic and adult brain and differentiating into neurons in several brain regions, researchers at Rockefeller University reported recently. The study adds more evidence to the viability of cell transplantation as a treatment for neurogenerative disorders and brain damage.1 "We are for the first time identifying a new population of cells that have the capacity to migrate all through the adult brain, into the thalamus, neocortex, striatum," says Hynek Wichterle, first author of the paper, noting that in previous studies, transplanted primary neuronal precursors remained at the sites of transplantation in the adult brain, seemingly unable to migrate and integrate into regions requiring new neurons.

In testing the migratory potential of neuronal precursors from several embryonic brain regions in vitro and in vivo, Wichterle and colleagues found precursors...

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