Christophe Heinrich

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Astroglia from the postnatal cerebral cortex can be reprogrammed in vitro to generate neurons following forced expression of neurogenic transcription factors, thus opening new avenues towards a potential use of endogenous astroglia for brain repair. However, in previous attempts astroglia-derived neurons failed to establish functional synapses, a severe(More)
As a result of brain injury, astrocytes become activated and start to proliferate in the vicinity of the injury site. Recently, we had demonstrated that these reactive astrocytes, or glia, can form self-renewing and multipotent neurospheres in vitro. In the present study, we demonstrate that it is only invasive injury, such as stab wounding or cerebral(More)
The adult cerebral cortex lacks the capacity to replace degenerated neurons following traumatic injury. Conversion of nonneuronal cells into induced neurons has been proposed as an innovative strategy toward brain repair. Here, we show that retrovirus-mediated expression of the transcription factors Sox2 and Ascl1, but strikingly also Sox2 alone, can induce(More)
Reprogramming of somatic cells into neurons provides a new approach toward cell-based therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. A major challenge for the translation of neuronal reprogramming into therapy is whether the adult human brain contains cell populations amenable to direct somatic cell conversion. Here we show that cells from the adult human cerebral(More)
Despite the widespread interest in direct neuronal reprogramming, the mechanisms underpinning fate conversion remain largely unknown. Our study revealed a critical time point after which cells either successfully convert into neurons or succumb to cell death. Co-transduction with Bcl-2 greatly improved negotiation of this critical point by faster neuronal(More)
Instructing glial cells to generate neurons may prove to be a strategy to replace neurons that have degenerated. Here, we describe a robust protocol for the efficient in vitro conversion of postnatal astroglia from the mouse cerebral cortex into functional, synapse-forming neurons. This protocol involves two steps: (i) expansion of astroglial cells (7 d)(More)
In the subependymal zone and the dentate gyrus of the adult brain of rodents, neural stem cells with glial properties generate new neurons in a life-long process. The identification of glial progenitors outside the neurogenic niches, oligodendrocyte precursors in the healthy brain, and reactive astrocytes after cortical injury led to the idea of using these(More)
Vital organs such as the pancreas and the brain lack the capacity for effective regeneration. To overcome this limitation, an emerging strategy consists of converting resident tissue-specific cells into the cell types that are lost due to disease by a process called in vivo lineage reprogramming. Here we discuss recent breakthroughs in regenerating(More)
Direct conversion of glia into neurons by cellular reprogramming represents a novel approach toward a cell-based therapy of neurodegenerative processes. Here we describe a protocol that allows for the direct and efficient in vitro reprogramming of mouse astroglia from the early postnatal neocortex by forced expression of single neurogenic fate determinants.(More)
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