CNS precursor cells and their derivatives in human disease and tissue repair paradigms

Project overview

Another part of our research program is dedicated to the application of our precursor cell work to the analysis and possible treatment of human diseases.
The insights we have gained from studying CNS glial precursor cells has led to the idea that precursor cell populations are the targets for a considerable number of developmental abnormalities associated with myelination defects in humans. Interestingly, defects in myelination are associated with insults as diverse as genetic defects, exposure to toxicant or to nutritional deficiencies. Based on our precursor cell work, we hypothesize that adequate myelination of large areas of the mammalian brain will only be possible if precursor cells arise in adequate numbers and continue to develop normally throughout development. It is thus conceivable that even small disturbances in the behavior of precursor cell populations during embryogenesis can lead to devastating defects in the myelination pattern during the postnatal peak of myelination. This idea points to precursor cells as an entirely new target for dysmyelinating diseases.

-Gestational Iron deficiency

-Ataxia Telangiectasia (AT)

-Spinal cord injury repair

-Human viral infections as a contributor to failure of repair


Margot Mayer-Pröschel
University of Rochester
Box 633
601 Elmwood Ave.
Rochester, NY 14642
Office: MRB 2-9627

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