Characterization of an in vitro neural stem cell niche with educational component: Stem cells and society
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] We describe a novel neural stem cell (NSC) culture system, derived from embryonic stem (ES) cells, that maintains and expands a population of neural stem cells similar to those in the developing and adult brain. The identity of cellular and molecular components within the cultures was documented using quantitative RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, neurosphere forming assays, and FLOW cytometry. Furthermore we compare the in vitro neural stem cell niche to neurogenic tissue of the adult brain and to other neural induction protocols and explore the use of 3-D physical scaffolding to better mimic the physical growth environment of living tissue. We show that embryonic stem cells can be induced to form structures that exhibit key properties of a developing neural stem cell niche. We believe this system can serve as a usefull model for studies of neurogenesis and stem cell maintenance in the NSC niche as well as for applications in stem cell transplantation.
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