IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/2558

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Neural stem cell engineering: directed differentiation of adult and embryonic stem cells into neurons
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1 Department of Chemical Engineering and The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
2 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Academic Editor: Song Li

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(1), 21–50; https://doi.org/10.2741/2558
Published: 1 January 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem cell engineering)
Abstract

Both adult neural stem cells and embryonic stem cells have shown the capacity to differentiation into multiple cell types of the adult nervous system. They will therefore serve as valuable systems for basic investigations of cell fate choice mechanisms, as well as play important future roles in applications ranging from regenerative medicine to drug screening. However, there are significant challenges remaining, including the identification of signaling factors that specify cell fate in the stem cell niche, the analysis of intracellular targets and mechanisms of these extracellular signals, and the development of ex vivo culture systems that can exert efficient control over cell function. This review will discuss progress in the identification of signaling mechanisms and culture systems that regulate neural differentiation, neuronal differentiation, and neuronal subtype specification.

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