Editors' ChoiceStem Cells

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STKE  12 Sep 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 49, pp. tw1
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.49.tw1

Useful as the oligodendrocyte precursor cells are to the central nervous system, given their ability to generate a steady supply of the cells that insulate neurons, it seems they can do even better. Kondo and Raff (see the news story by Vogel) now show that these limited-potential precursor cells can, with treatment by a series of external growth factors, be made to "back up" through the developmental cascade. The result is a source of stem cells with greater potential than the original that can form a variety of differentiated neuronal cell types.

Kondo, T., and Raff, M. (2000) Oligodendrocyte precursor cells reprogrammed to become multipotential CNS stem cells. Science 289: 1754-1757. [Abstract] [Full Text]

Vogel, G. (2000) Brain cells turning over a new leaf. Science 289: 1666. [Full Text]