. Identification and isolation of multipotential neural progenitor cells from the subcortical white matter of the adult human brain. Nat Med. 2003 Apr;9(4):439-47. Epub 2003 Mar 10 PubMed.

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  1. This is a report to support neurogenesis in the adult human brain. Transplanted cells (Hoehn, 2002; Zung, 2003) and endogenous stem cells localized in the subventricular zone (Parent, 2002) are reported to migrate through white matter of the adult brain. The finding of neural progenitors in the white matter in the human brain reported in the current paper would be directly comparable to these findings in the rodent brains.

    Since the authors of this paper found limited self-renewal ability of the white matter progenitor cells (WMPCs), these cells have left the stem cell lineage and become phenotypically committed progenitors. From this point of view of limited expandability, WMPCs from the adult human brain cell may not be a good candidate for transplantable materials for neuroreplacement therapies. Moreover, starting material may also be limited because the volume of biopsy sample and the population of the cells is small.

    Rather, I think this article gives us a good rationale to treat patients with compounds that increase the progenitor cell population in the brain. Although we need more detailed stem cell population studies during aging and under disease conditions, the human adult brain may have more effective self-repair systems than we thought.

    References:

    . Monitoring of implanted stem cell migration in vivo: a highly resolved in vivo magnetic resonance imaging investigation of experimental stroke in rat. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Dec 10;99(25):16267-72. PubMed.

    View all comments by Kiminobu Sugaya