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Generation of Neural Cells by Direct Cellular Reprogramming

Journal: Journal of Transplantation & Stem Cell Biology (Vol.1, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 1-7

Keywords : Lineage conversion; Reprogramming; Neurons; Neural stem cells; Glial cells; Fibroblasts;

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Cellular reprogramming is a new technique that is currently explored for its potential to manufacture human cell types in vitro. Direct cellular reprogramming allows the direct conversion of cells into a target cell type of interest. This approach is of particular interest for cells of the central nervous system, which are notoriously difficult to obtain. Experiments in which cells were converted from an easily accessible starting cell to a different cell type across lineage boundaries have not only demonstrated an unexpected level of cellular plasticity of differentiated somatic cells, they also promise faster and more convenient manufacturing routes for various neural cell types. Renewable sources of human neurons and glia would be highly desirable for neurobiological studies, the development of cell replacement therapies to enhance regeneration in the CNS, disease modelling and drug- and pharmacology testing. Here we review the existing literature investigating the generation of the principle cell types of the central nervous system: neurons and glia. We highlight some of the technical challenges that need to be overcome in order to realize the full potential of lineage reprogramming technologies.

Last modified: 2015-06-23 15:44:16