Cells reprogrammed to become induced pluripotent stem cells can develop into neurons and alleviate a Parkinsonlike movement disorder in rodents, according to new research (Wernig M et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105:5856-5861).
A team of scientists led by investigators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass, generated these pluripotent stem cells by adding 4 genes to mouse fibroblasts. The researchers then differentiated the cells into neural progenitor cells and injected them into the brains of fetal mice. There, the cells developed into several types of brain cells, including dopamine-producing neurons that might be used to treat parkinson disease.
Hampton T. Parkinson Treatment. JAMA. 2008;299(21):2500. doi:10.1001/jama.299.21.2500-c