Researchers say they have completed a new stem cell transplant that will restore the circuits in the mouse brain. Eventually, this could lead to new therapies for diseases ranging from Parkinson’s to autism.
In the experiment, a team from Harvard University embedded healthy stem cells from mouse embryos into the brain of adult laboratory rodents that could not use leptin. After the transplant, the rodents were able to process leptin again.
Jeffery Macklis of Harvard University said, “We used complex circuitry as a test case to see if precisely selected and controlled neuron transplants could rewire the brain.” We found that these neurons not only became the correct cell types, but also sent signals to the recipient’s brain and received signals from the recipient’s brain. The next step for us is to ask parallel questions to other parts of the brain and spinal cord that are involved in ALS (Motor Neuron Disease) and spinal cord injuries. ”