Scientists from Stanford turned blood cells into acting neurons
Stanford University opened a revolutionary, fast and cheap method of transforming T-lymphocytes into neurons. In this case, scientists circumvented the problem of pluripotency and actually learned how to reprogram cells. Experiments on human biomaterial have already yielded an encouraging result.
The mechanism of transformation of cells into neurons was developed back in 2010, but scientists constantly had problems with its practical implementation. It was not easy to keep the cells from going to pluripotency, when they started to change uncontrollably, turning into anything. In addition, the skin cells served as the starting material, and their fence is an invasive, painful and small-scale procedure that does not allow the experiments to be performed on the flow.
The latest study showed that you can go the other way and work with lymphocytes, generating from one milliliter of blood up to 50,000 functional neurons. The blood can be fresh or frozen, you just need to add four special proteins and wait a few days. Scientists admit they were shocked at how simple and fast immune cells become neurons.
These are not quite full neurons, they carry signals, but they themselves are unable to form synapses. That is, at this stage, they are not suitable for implantation and treatment of the nervous system. But this is an excellent and extensive material for investigating phenomena in the neuron environment, a polygon for the reproduction and study of neuralgic disorders. The authors of the study believe that its results will help advance in the fight against autism and schizophrenia.