Bio Eats World

Journal Club: Reversing Parkinson's with New Neurons

Episode Summary

With Xiang-Dong Fu and @lr_bio Parkinson's Disease is caused by the death of specific neurons in the brain. In this episode of the Bio Eats World Journal Club, we discuss research reprogramming non-neuronal brain cells (astrocytes) to become neurons to replace those lost to disease. This work paves the way for a potential cure for this devastating disease.

Episode Notes

Neurons do not divide or replicate, so how can we replace neurons killed by neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's Disease? On the Bio Eats World Journal Club, UCSD Professor Xiang-Dong Fu and host Lauren Richardson discuss his team's work generating new neurons in the brain by inducing non-neuronal cells to become neurons. The conversation covers how they programmed this cell type conversion, how they verified that these newly created neurons were functioning correctly, and how they demonstrated that these neurons could replace those destroyed in a mouse model of Parkinson's Disease, reversing the disease phenotype. This work paves the way for a potential curative treatment for this and other devastating neurodegenerative and neurological diseases.

"Reversing a model of Parkinson’s disease with in situ converted nigral neurons" by Hao Qian, Xinjiang Kang, Jing Hu, Dongyang Zhang, Zhengyu Liang, Fan Meng, Xuan Zhang, Yuanchao Xue1, Roy Maimon, Steven F. Dowdy, Neal K. Devaraj, Zhuan Zhou, William C. Mobley, Don W. Cleveland & Xiang-Dong Fu.