Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Glial Precursors: A Source of Myelinating Transplants

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Science  30 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5428, pp. 754-756
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5428.754

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Self-renewing, totipotent embryonic stem (ES) cells may provide a virtually unlimited donor source for transplantation. A protocol that permits the in vitro generation of precursors for oligodendrocytes and astrocytes from ES cells was devised. Transplantation in a rat model of a human myelin disease shows that these ES cell–derived precursors interact with host neurons and efficiently myelinate axons in brain and spinal cord. Thus, ES cells can serve as a valuable source of cell type–specific somatic precursors for neural transplantation.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: brustle{at}

  • Present address: Promega Corp., 2800 Woods Hollow Road, Madison, WI 53711, USA.

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