Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mouse epiSCs Into Myelinating Cells

This study published recently in Nature Methods hit my radar scope becaused it referenced use of our widely used and frequently published stem cell marker Tuj 1 (Neuron-specific class III beta-tubulin): Fadi J Najm, Anita Zaremba, Andrew V Caprariello, Shreya Nayak, Eric C Freundt, Peter C Scacheri, Robert H Miller & Paul J Tesar. Rapid and robust generation of functional oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from epiblast stem cells. Nature Methods (2011) doi:10.1038/nmeth.1712.

Dr. Paul Tesar and his team at Case Western University demonstrated the ability to convert pluripotent epiblast stem cells into pure populations of myelinating cells, called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). First, stem cells in a petri dish are treated with molecules to direct them to become the most primitive cells in the nervous system. To produce OPCs, these primitive cells are treated with a defined set of proteins. The cells were cultured on laminin and treated withh apporopriate growth factors. The OPCs were nearly homogenous and could be multiplied to obtain more than a trillion cells.

The OPCs were treated with thyroid hormone, which is key to regulating the transition of the OPCs to oligodendrocytes. The result was the OPCs stopped proliferating and turned into oligodendrocytes within four days.

These methods could used to potentially produce stable and pure populations of human OPCs in a significant enough number to treat patients with demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Immunostaining Neurons and Glia

I would like to thank Dr. Gerry Shaw, University of Florida for his excellent work with our Primary Neurons and Astrocytes and Neuronal-Glial Markers. Here's an example image with many more to follow:

Image: E18 hippocampal neurons stained with MAPT (red) and Doublecortin (green). The two proteins overlap in the proximal dendrites, but doublecortin is more abundant in the growth cones and periphery. As a result, the periphery appears green while the more proximal regions of the cells are yellow. The single longer process of this cell, presumably an axon, has a low doublecortin content and so appears red. Blue staining is the nuclear DNA. Protocol on datasheet.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

BDNF and Exercise Study-Running Mice

Get fit and get smart. There is increasing evidence that vigorous exercise increases secretion of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Protein.  BDNF is a catalyst of processes that increase growth of neurons especially in the hippocampus.

In this study researchers show new cell proliferation, survival, neuron number, and neurotrophin levels were enhanced only when running was accessible to mice. They conclude that exercise is the critical factor mediating increased BDNF levels and adult hippocampal neurogenesis: Tali Kobilo, Qing-Rong Liu, Kriti Gandhi, Mohammed Mughal, Yavin Shaham and Henriette van Praag. Running is the neurogenic and neurotrophic stimulus in environmental enrichment. doi: 10.1101/lm.2283011. Learn. Mem. 2011. 18: 605-609... human recombinant BDNF (0.1 µg) monomer (Neuromics)...
BDNF, CF Recombinant Protein
Related Reagents:
Neuron-Glial Expressed-Includes Neurotrophin Proteins
Neurotrophins and Growth Factor Antibodies
Primary Neurons and Astrocytes-Primary human, rat and mouse neurons and astrocytes.

Keep your brain healthy.