Breaking News
March 24, 2019 - Practices for Reducing COPD Hospital Readmissions Explored
March 24, 2019 - Could an eye doctor diagnose Alzheimer’s before you have symptoms?
March 24, 2019 - Enzyme inhibitor stops inflammation and neurodevelopmental disorders in mouse models
March 24, 2019 - Walk, Dance, Clean: Even a Little Activity Helps You Live Longer
March 24, 2019 - Americans used less eye care in 2014 versus 2008
March 24, 2019 - Study finds link between depression in 20s linked to memory loss in 50s
March 24, 2019 - New tool helps physiotherapy students to master complex fine motor skills
March 24, 2019 - The AMR Centre secures £2.3m funding boost
March 24, 2019 - Study examines effects of taking ondansetron during first trimester of pregnancy
March 24, 2019 - Researchers identify a more effective treatment for cancer
March 24, 2019 - Open-source solution for multiparametric optical mapping of the heart’s electrical activity
March 24, 2019 - New nanotechnology approach shows promise in treating triple negative breast cancer
March 24, 2019 - Trevena Announces Publication of APOLLO-1 Results in The Journal of Pain Research Highlighting Oliceridine’s Potential for Management of Moderate-to-Severe Acute Pain
March 24, 2019 - Maternal deaths following C-section 50 times higher in Africa compared to high-income countries
March 24, 2019 - Apple watch could detect irregular heart beat says study
March 24, 2019 - Queen Mary University of London’s BCI boosts radionuclide imaging capabilities with MILabs VECTor technology
March 24, 2019 - Girls should be encouraged to gain more ball skills, shows study
March 24, 2019 - Acute doses of synthetic cannabinoid can impair critical thinking and memory
March 24, 2019 - Presence of bacteria in urine does not always point to infection, shows study
March 24, 2019 - Scientists identify a new role for nerve-supporting cells
March 24, 2019 - Hidden differences between pathology of CTE and Alzheimer’s disease discovered
March 24, 2019 - Knowing causative genes of osteoporosis may open door to more effective treatments
March 24, 2019 - Toilet-seat based cardiovascular monitoring system getting ready to begin commercialization
March 24, 2019 - New model for intensive care identifies factors that send ill patients to ICU
March 24, 2019 - Recommendations Issued for HSCT in Multiple Myeloma
March 24, 2019 - Deep brain stimulation provides sustained relief for severe depression
March 24, 2019 - “Statistical significance” may soon be a thing of past?
March 24, 2019 - Researchers track effects of epigenetic marks carried by sperm chromosomes
March 24, 2019 - AHA News: Family Adopts Three Children With Three Different Heart Conditions
March 24, 2019 - Research into opioid painkillers could provide clues for safer drug development
March 23, 2019 - Lung cancer survivor recounts her lifetime struggles
March 23, 2019 - Radial and femoral approach for PCI achieve similar results in terms of survival
March 23, 2019 - Study sheds light on the optimal timing of coronary angiography in NSTEMI patients
March 23, 2019 - Excess hormones could cause a condition that can lead to blindness in women, study finds
March 23, 2019 - Dramatic shifts in first-time opioid prescriptions bring hope, concern
March 23, 2019 - Antidepressant drugs may not work when neurons are out of shape
March 23, 2019 - TTUHSC El Paso to establish endowed chair in neurology through a major grant
March 23, 2019 - New device approved by FDA for treating patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure
March 23, 2019 - People with peripheral artery disease have lower Omega-3 Index, shows research
March 23, 2019 - Trigger warnings have minimal impact on how people respond to content, shows research
March 23, 2019 - Gilead Announces Data From Two Studies Supporting Further Development of GS-6207, a Novel, Investigational HIV-1 Capsid Inhibitor as a Component of Future Long-Acting HIV Therapies
March 23, 2019 - Selfish genetic elements amplify inflammation and age-related diseases
March 23, 2019 - Study provides new understanding of how the brain recovers from damage caused by stroke
March 23, 2019 - CRISPR/Cas libraries could revolutionize drug discovery
March 23, 2019 - Allergic reaction during pregnancy may alter sexual-development in offspring’s brain
March 23, 2019 - Seeing through a robot’s eyes helps those with profound motor impairments
March 23, 2019 - Recent research shows that ease of breastfeeding after C-section differs culturally
March 23, 2019 - Newly discovered parameters offer more control over efficient release of drugs
March 23, 2019 - ‘De-tabooing’ of abortion- Women would like more support from health care community
March 23, 2019 - Anti-TB drugs can increase susceptibility to Mtb reinfection
March 23, 2019 - New survey indicates need of attention to neglected tropical diseases
March 23, 2019 - Innovative in vitro method to develop easy-to-swallow medicine for children and older people
March 23, 2019 - Sugary drinks could raise risk of early deaths finds study
March 23, 2019 - Lian wins ENGINE grant for stem-cell-based therapy to treat Type 1 diabetes
March 23, 2019 - Overall, Physicians Are Happy and Enjoy Their Lives
March 23, 2019 - Researchers discover how blood vessels protect the brain during inflammation
March 23, 2019 - CDC study shows modest improvement in optimal hospital breastfeeding policy
March 23, 2019 - Family-based prevention program to reduce alcohol use among older teens
March 23, 2019 - Remote monitoring of implanted defibrillators in heart failure patients prevents hospitalizations
March 23, 2019 - Appropriate doffing of personal protective equipment may reduce healthcare worker contamination
March 23, 2019 - Window screens can suppress mosquito populations, reduce malaria in Tanzania
March 23, 2019 - Researchers discover new biomarker for postoperative liver dysfunction
March 23, 2019 - Pregnancy history may be linked to cognitive function in older women, finds study
March 23, 2019 - Study shows ticagrelor is equally safe and effective as clopidogrel after heart attack
March 23, 2019 - FDA Approves First Drug for Postpartum Depression, Zulresso (brexanolone)
March 23, 2019 - New guidelines outline new treatment management for psoriasis
March 23, 2019 - Thermally abused cooking oil may promote progression of breast cancer
March 23, 2019 - High-fructose corn syrup fuels growth of colon tumors in mice
March 23, 2019 - Partnership aims at establishing best practices to promote diversity in clinical trials
March 23, 2019 - New study examines presence of microbes in tap water from residences, office buildings
March 23, 2019 - Early life trauma may affect brain structure, contribute to major depressive disorder
March 23, 2019 - NIH starts clinical trial of drug to treat cravings associated with opioid use disorder
March 23, 2019 - Cervix bacteria, immune factors could be a warning signal of premature birth, reports new research
March 23, 2019 - Worst-ever emergency care performance figures underscore the need to focus on staffing
March 23, 2019 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Cancer
March 23, 2019 - Mouse model validates how ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria affect acne
March 23, 2019 - Individual amygdala neurons respond to touch, imagery and sounds
March 23, 2019 - Combination of two topical creams can prevent cancer
March 23, 2019 - Study suggests depression screening when assessing African-Americans for schizophrenia
March 23, 2019 - New electronic support system for choosing drug treatment based on patient’s genotype
Human brain cell transplant offers insights into neurological conditions

Human brain cell transplant offers insights into neurological conditions

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Transplanted human brain cells (green) and nuclei (purple). Credit: R Real, et al. Science 2018

In the new study, led by Imperial College London in collaboration with a group from the University of Cambridge, researchers transplanted human brain cells into a mouse brain, and for the first time watched how they grew and connected to each other. This allowed the team to study the way human brain cells interact in a more natural environment than previously possible.

The team, funded by the Medical Research Council, used the technique to model Down syndrome, using cells donated by two individuals with the condition.

The scientists say their approach could be used to study a range of brain conditions in the future, including schizophrenia, dementia or autism.

The study, published today in the journal Science, describes how researchers saw differences in the brain cells from the individuals with Down syndrome compared to brain cells from a person without the condition.

Although some of the connections formed between the brain cells from the individuals with Down syndrome were more stable and abundant, they communicated in a slightly less coordinated fashion.

Dr. Vincenzo De Paola, lead author of the research from Imperial’s Institute of Clinical Sciences, said: “It’s been a fantastic team effort and I’m grateful to the many scientists who participated in this study, as well as to the people who donated tissue samples for this research. Our results suggest the reduced coordinated activity and increased stability of connections in Down syndrome may be linked to cognitive function. Figuring this out would be an important piece of the puzzle, and we hope to have an answer soon.”

Professor Rick Livesey, joint co-corresponding author from the University of Cambridge’s Wellcome/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, commented: “Working together with the Imperial team has allowed us to extend our previous work on making stem cells and nerve cells from people with Down syndrome, to study how those nerve cells develop and function when put in a living brain. We are very excited by how much we have learned and the new avenues this has opened up for understanding Down syndrome”.

Dr. Raquel Real, a neurologist from Dr. De Paola’s group at Imperial College London and joint first author of this study, added: “The transplantation of human brain cells has allowed us to monitor their maturation over time. Ultimately, we detected that cells from Down syndrome individuals are not as active as normal cells at a crucial stage in their development, and this could have important implications for some of the symptoms of this condition”.

Dr. De Paola added: “Scientists have been struggling to develop a way of monitoring live human cells and their connections in the brain. This new imaging approach may have taken us one step closer to this.”

Crucially, the technique allows scientists to study how brain cells communicate, explained Dr. De Paola: “The connections between brain cells, which enable them to talk to each other, is often the first thing to be damaged in conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s. This happens long before the brain cells themselves start to die. But the connections are so tiny, that no type of scanning tool available, such as MRI or PET scans, can see them. We used a revolutionary microscopy technique—called in vivo 2-photon microscopy—which allowed us to see not only individual live brain cells, but also the connections between them.”

In the study, joint first author Dr. Manuel Peter and colleagues from the Gurdon Institute created human brain cells by reverse-engineering skin cells. This process involved taking a few skin cells from volunteers with Down syndrome, and then reprogramming them in the lab to form brain cells. They then engineered those neurons so their activity could be monitored.

Joint first authors Dr. Raquel Real and Dr. Antonio Trabalza from the Imperial College London group were then able to implant these human neurons in the brain of live mice and monitored their development and function over time.

Dr. De Paola explained: “The human brain cells not only formed complex networks, but also started communicating in a way that was very similar to normal brain cells. We were hoping a few of the human brain cells would grow within the mouse brain—but we were stunned to see the human brain cells thrive, and soon talk and work together.”

However, he cautioned: “It is still not clear to what extent the transplanted human brain cells resemble the organization and complexity of their counterparts in the human brain. We now need to investigate this with further experiments.”

The Imperial team now hope to refine this technique, and potentially use this approach to study other neurological conditions.


Explore further:
New tissue technique gives stunning 3-D insights into the human brain

More information:
R. Real el al., “In vivo modeling of human neuron dynamics and Down syndrome,” Science (2018). science.sciencemag.org/lookup/ … 1126/science.aau1810

Journal reference:
Science

Provided by:
Imperial College London

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles