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Cells, Neural

  • By: Annelies Crabbe
  • In: Encyclopedia of Stem Cell Research
  • Edited by: Clive N. Svendsen & Allison D. Ebert
  • Subject:Ethics in Health Care (general), Medical Research

MANY ORGANS IN the body have stem cells. However, stem cells in the adult nervous system have only been discovered recently as the brain is traditionally thought of as containing nondividing mature cells. However, in 1960, Dr. Joseph Alt—man demonstrated, using radioactive thymidine, a compound that is included in DNA of dividing cells, that there are dividing cells in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. In the 1980s, it was shown that the dividing cells gave rise to new neurons. The term adult neural stem cells (NSCs) was coined for stem cells isolated from the nervous system. Interestingly, similar cells can be isolated from most regions of the brain during development, but then from only two major areas in the adult brain—the hippocampus and ...

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