BAVARIAN RESEARCH NETWORK FOR ADULT NEURAL STEM CELLS
Characterisation of adult stem cells of the human hippocampus
Field of work:Characterizing and establishing of adult human neural stem cells
Our project addresses the analysis of adult stem cells obtained from the human hippocampus. Tissue is obtained from surgical resection in patients with therapy-resistant epilepsy. In Erlangen, approximately 30 resections of the hippocampus are performed per year. Following informed consent, we cultivate adult human neural stem cells from the removed tissue. During cultivation and expansion in vitro, these stem cells form so called neurospheres arising from an individual stem cell and consisting of hundreds of stem and progenitor cells. Following expansion, the cells are differentiated under defined culture conditions, forming neurons and glia. Our main focus is to enhance neuronal differentiation of cultured human stem cells using experimental inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDAC) which target gene expression. Using HDAC inhibitors in stem cells obtained from rat hippocampus, we observed a five-fold increase in newly formed neurons. Reproducing these results in human stem cells would be an important step towards reconstructive cell replacement therapy, e.g. in parkinsons disease.