Cell differentiation in the embryonic mammalian spinal cord
The acquisition of cell type specific properties in the spinal cord is a process of a sequential restriction in developmental potential. Multipotent neuroepithelial stem cells (NEP cells) can give rise to all the major cell types in the central nervous system. The generation of these multiple cell types occurs via the generation of intermediate precursor cells, which are restricted in their differentiation potential, but are still able to give rise to more than one cell type. These intermediate precursor cells are different from NEP cells and are different from each other. We have identified neuronal restricted precursor cells (NRP’s) which can only generate neurons but no longer glial cells and glial restricted precursor cells (GRP’s), which give rise to glial cells but not to neurons. These intermediate precursor cells can be purified and expanded in vitro and might offer a new tool for gene discovery, drug screening and transplantation approaches.
KeywordsMultipotent Stem Cell Adult Central Nervous System Mature Cell Type Chick Embryo Extract Glial Progenitor Cell
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