Moving In and Settling Down

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Science  23 Apr 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5977, pp. 407
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5977.407-c

In stem cell–based therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring the function of neural tissue, the proliferation, differentiation, and migration of introduced neural precursor cells must be tightly controlled. Delaloy et al. have examined microRNA (miRNA) expression as human embryonic stem cells differentiated into postmitotic neurons in cell culture and found that miRNA-9 (miR-9) increased in human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) before terminal differentiation. In a mouse model of stroke, miR-9 loss of function resulted in a decrease of cell proliferation and an increase in migration of hNPCs that had been transplanted into ischemic mouse brain. Hence, miR-9 appears to coordinate early hNPC proliferation and delay early hNPC migration, properties that will be of use in designing potential treatments for brain or spinal cord injury.

Cell Stem Cell 6, 323 (2010).

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