2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

Astrocyte secreted and membrane-bound factors induce expression of neural markers in mesenchymal stem cells
Jacqueline E. Weiss
Dr. Cynthia Cooper, Faculty Mentor

It has been assumed that once a cell has begun to differentiate, it is fate restricted and cannot change its differentiation pathway. Recent evidence shown that certain adult stem cells are in fact not lineage restricted. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are normally destined to become tissues such as bone or fat can be induced to differentiate into neurons, cells of a different embryonic germ layer. The ability of astrocytes, which normally support neurons, to prompt MSCs to undergo neuronal differentiation was investigated. Cultures were immunostained for early and late neuronal markers. All cells expressed low levels of the early marker regardless of treatment, but appeared to have more expression when treated with astrocyte-conditioned medium or grown on killed astrocytes. The early marker expression increased with treatment time. In contrast, the mature marker was only expressed in astrocyte-treated cells. These results have implications for the treatment both of neurological disease and nervous system injury.

Keywords: mesenchymal , stem cell, neuron

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 26-33
Location: OP Lobby & Atrium
Time: 1:15

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