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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)
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)
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)
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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