Neurogenesis in Postnatal Rat Spinal Cord: A Study in Primary Culture

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Science  25 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5312, pp. 586-589
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5312.586

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Spinal cord injuries result in paralysis, because when damaged neurons die they are not replaced. Neurogenesis of electrophysiologically functional neurons occurred in spinal cord cultured from postnatal rats. In these cultures, the numbers of immunocytochemically identified neurons increased over time. Additionally, neurons identified immunocytochemically or electrophysiologically incorporated bromodeoxyuridine, confirming they had differentiated from mitotic cells in vitro. These findings suggest that postnatal spinal cord retains the capacity to generate functional neurons. The presence of neuronal precursor cells in postnatal spinal cord may offer new therapeutic approaches for restoration of function to individuals with spinal cord injuries.

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