Highlights

  • New Insights into the Regeneration Process of the Zebrafish Brain
    Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) have succeeded for the first time in directly observing stem cells in the brain of a vertebrate by means of live imaging. The observation of processes in the intact and injured brain led to an astonishing finding: Neurons are generated both by direct conversions of stem cells into postmitotic neurons and via intermediate progenitors amplifying the neuronal output. The study revealed changes in the behavior of stem cells underlying generation of additional neurons during regeneration, as the researchers reported in the journal Science. Press Release

  • Stem cells in the brain: limited self-renewal
    Stem cells in the brain can produce neurons and are consequently seen as a hope for treatment. A team of researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) has now discovered that the self-renewal rate of the stem cells is however limited, explaining why their number drops over the course of a lifetime. This work now sets the basis for further investigation of the signalling pathways that maintain the stem cells. The results have been published in the journal 'Nature Neuroscience'. Press Release

  • Reprogramming “Support Cells” into Neurons Could Repair Injured Adult Brains
    The portion of the adult brain responsible for complex thought, known as the cerebral cortex, lacks the ability to replace neurons that die as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and other devastating diseases. A study in the journal Stem Cell Reports, published by Cell Press shows that a Sox2 protein, alone or in combination with another protein, Ascl1, can cause nonneuronal cells, called NG2 glia, to turn into neurons in the injured cerebral cortex of adult mice. The findings by scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München reveal that NG2 glia represent a promising target for neuronal cell replacement strategies to treat traumatic brain injury. Press Release

  • Trnp1 Regulates Expansion of Cerebral Cortex
    During the fetal development of many mammals the cerebral cortex increases in size and becomes folded. Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München have now succeeded in identifying the key protein responsible for this process. Press Release

  • Human Glial Cells Can Be Reprogrammed
    For the first time the formation of new nerve cells from somatic cells of the human brain has succeeded: Specific cells of the adult human cerebral cortex could be reprogrammed into functioning neurons with the aid of two transcription factors.Press release

  • Oligodendrocytes and Multiple Sclerosis.
    Oligodendrocytes are cells of the central nervous system that enable nerve cells to efficiently conduct electrical signals. Scientists of the Institute of Stem Cell Research have now gained new insights into the origin and development of oligodendrocytes, which may play an important role in multiple sclerosis. Press release

  • Key to Neurogenesis
    Neural progenitor cells can differentiate into different cell types in the adult brain: into new neurons, but also into glial cells. In the study, it was shown that the transcription factor Pax6 causes a change in chromatin structure by interacting with the so-called BAF complex and thereby influences the fate of neural progenitor cells. Cell Stem Cell

  • Neubildung von Nervenzellen aus dem menschlichen Gehirn gelungen
    Neuherberg, 10.10.2012. Wissenschaftlern des Helmholtz Zentrums München ist es gelungen, Stützzellen des menschlichen Gehirns in funktionelle Nervenzellen umzuwandeln.Press release
  • Neuroscience: Brainy creations  nature 465, 400 (27 May 2010)

  • The Transcription Factor Pax6 Regulates Survival of Dopaminergic Olfactory Bulb Neurons via Crystallin αA
    Pax6 is necessary for survival of dopaminergic PGNs ► Loss of CryαA function causes neuronal death upon Pax6 depletion ► Pax6 homeodomain controls expression of CryαA that prevents activation of caspase-3 ► Paired-type homeodomain dysfunction impairs survival of dopaminergic PGNs 9 [Neuron...]

  • Progress in Exploring New Avenues for Brain Repair: Astroglia Reprogrammed to Generate Synapse-Forming Neurons
    Neuherberg, May  18, 2010. The research team led by Professor Magdalena Götz of Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich reports a major step forward in discovering a therapy for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or stroke. The researchers were able to convert glial cells of the brain into two different functional classes of neurons. The findings are published on May 18th in the renowned journal PLoS Biology.  Press release

  • New Source Discovered for the Generation of Nerve Cells in the Brain
    Neuherberg, November 25, 2009. The research group of Professor Magdalena Götz of Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich has made a significant advance in understanding regeneration processes in the brain.

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