There are a number of diseases that affect the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition, trauma can cause neurological problems. We have developed two cell strains that are derived from human neuronal cells. These cell strains are precursors to other neuronal cells, and we have shown that the cells can differentiate when grown in cell culture. This project will determine the characteristics of these cells, including which important proteins are found in the cells, in order to better understand how the cells function. In addition, a variety of signaling molecules will be investigated to see how they affect the cell strains. These signaling molecules may affect differentiation or other functions of the cells. We will also test the cells strains in animals to determine if they may be suitable for therapy for neurological diseases. Overall, the project will determine if these cell strains will be useful for further experiments that may lead to drug or stem cell therapy.
Statement of Benefit to California:
There are many Californians that have neurological problems. These problems range from injuries due to trauma, degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and dementia caused by HIV and HCV. We have developed human neuronal precursor cells. Studying these cell strains will provide information that will advance the field of neurobiology. In addition, these strains or the information obtained through these studies may be useful in the future for therapies for a variety of neurological problems.