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Parkinson disease (PD) involves the selective loss of midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons and is a possible target disease for stem cell-based therapy. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are a potentially unlimited source of patient-specific cells for transplantation. However, it is critical to evaluate the safety of hiPSCs generated by different(More)
Effective dopamine (DA) neuron differentiation from neural precursor cells (NPCs) is prerequisite for precursor/stem cell-based therapy of Parkinson's disease (PD). Nurr1, an orphan nuclear receptor, has been reported as a transcription factor that can drive DA neuron differentiation from non-dopaminergic NPCs in vitro. However, Nurr1 alone neither induces(More)
White adipose tissue regulates metabolism; the importance of this control is highlighted by the ongoing pandemic of obesity and associated complications such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cancer. White adipose tissue maintenance is a dynamic process, yet very little is known about how pharmacologic stimuli affect such plasticity. Combining in vivo(More)
Nurr1 is a transcription factor specific for the development and maintenance of the midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. Exogenous Nurr1 in neural precursor (NP) cells induces the differentiation of DA neurons in vitro that are capable of reversing motor dysfunctions in a rodent model for Parkinson disease. The promise of this therapeutic approach, however, is(More)
The steroid receptor-type transcription factor Nurr1 has a crucial role in the development of the mesencephalic dopamine (DA) neurons. Although ectopic expression of Nurr1 in cultured neural precursor cells is sufficient in establishing the DA phenotype, Nurr1-induced DA cells are morphologically and functionally immature, suggesting the necessity of(More)
Neural precursor cells (NPCs) are regarded as a promising source of donor cells in transplantation-based therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. However, poor survival and limited neuronal differentiation of the transplanted NPCs remain critical limitations for developing therapeutic strategies. In this study, we investigated the effects of the proneural(More)
In the developing mouse brain, the highest Bcl-X(L) expression is seen at the peak of neurogenesis, whereas the peak of Bax expression coincides with the astrogenic period. While such observations suggest an active role of the Bcl-2 family proteins in the generation of neurons and astrocytes, no definitive demonstration has been provided to date. Using(More)
We have cultivated highly uniform populations of neural precursor cells, which retain their region-specific identities, from various rat embryonic brain regions. The roles of the proneural basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) factors neurogenin2 (Ngn2) and Mash1 in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neuron differentiation were explored in the region-specific cultures.(More)
The intracellular Raf-Erk signaling pathway is activated during neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation, and neuronal and astrocytic differentiation. A key question is how this signal can evoke multiple and even opposing NSC behaviors. We show here, using a constitutively active Raf (ca-Raf), that Raf-Erk activation in NSCs induces neuronal differentiation in(More)
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