Myron Flint Beal

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Many lines of evidence suggest that mitochondria have a central role in ageing-related neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondria are critical regulators of cell death, a key feature of neurodegeneration. Mutations in mitochondrial DNA and oxidative stress both contribute to ageing, which is the greatest risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. In all(More)
Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are a promising source of cells for applications in regenerative medicine. Directed differentiation of PSCs into specialized cells such as spinal motoneurons or midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons has been achieved. However, the effective use of PSCs for cell therapy has lagged behind. Whereas mouse PSC-derived DA neurons have(More)
Mutations in Pink1, a gene encoding a Ser/Thr kinase with a mitochondrial-targeting signal, are associated with Parkinson's disease (PD), the most common movement disorder characterized by selective loss of dopaminergic neurons. The mechanism by which loss of Pink1 leads to neurodegeneration is not understood. Here we show that inhibition of Drosophila(More)
The evolution of the human mitochondrial genome is characterized by the emergence of ethnically distinct lineages or haplogroups. Nine European, seven Asian (including Native American), and three African mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups have been identified previously on the basis of the presence or absence of a relatively small number of(More)
A central question in Alzheimer's disease concerns the mechanism by which beta-amyloid contributes to neuropathology, and in particular whether intracellular versus extracellular beta-amyloid plays a critical role. Alzheimer transgenic mouse studies demonstrate brain dysfunction, as beta-amyloid levels rise, months before the appearance of beta-amyloid(More)
Existing protocols for the neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells require extended in vitro culture, yield variable differentiation results or are limited to the generation of selected neural subtypes. Here we provide a set of coculture conditions that allows rapid and efficient derivation of most central nervous system phenotypes. The(More)
The etiology of neurodegenerative diseases remains enigmatic; however, evidence for defects in energy metabolism, excitotoxicity, and for oxidative damage is increasingly compelling. It is likely that there is a complex interplay between these mechanisms. A defect in energy metabolism may lead to neuronal depolarization, activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate(More)
An impairment of energy metabolism may underlie slow excitotoxic neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases. We therefore examined the effects of intrastriatal, subacute systemic, or chronic systemic administration of the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP) in rats. Following intrastriatal injection 3-NP produced dose-dependent striatal(More)
To direct human embryonic stem (HES) cells to a dopaminergic neuronal fate, we cocultured HES cells that were exposed to both sonic hedgehog and fibroblast growth factor 8 with telomerase-immortalized human fetal midbrain astrocytes. These astrocytes substantially potentiated dopaminergic neurogenesis by both WA09 and WA01 HES cells, biasing them to the A9(More)
A critical role of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage has been hypothesized in both aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Much of the evidence has been correlative, but recent evidence has shown that the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations accelerates normal aging, leads to oxidative damage to nuclear DNA, and impairs gene transcription.(More)