25 mars"White matter development and white matter repair after injury"25 mars 2011
"White matter development and white matter repair after injury"
Professor of Pediatrics, Pharmacology and Physiology
George Washington University School of Medicine
Developing and adult brains contain not only neural stem cells, but also more fate-restricted glial progenitor cells (GPCs). During development, these cells generate astrocytes and oligodendrocytes - the major cell types of white matter regions of the central nervous system - and are maintained in adult brains as a pool of undifferentiated GPCs. GPCs have been identified in normal and pathological human brain, and represent the major source of endogenous cells for neural repair. GPCs change their fate during life span and can be instructed to generate glia and neurons. These properties underline the potential uses for GPCs in cell-based repair strategies to promote neuroplasticity and recovery in many human CNS disorders. My lecture will illustrate recent progress in identifying molecular and cellular mechanisms governing GPC development in response to CNS injury and disease. I will focus on different animal models of white matter injury of the perinatal and the adult brain. I will describe cellular, molecular, electrophysiological and animal behavioral studies from my laboratory that demonstrate a role for specific signals and associated receptor systems in either promoting or inhibiting gliogenesis and functional recovery. I will emphasize how multidisciplinary approaches can be used to define molecular mechanisms that regulate crucial steps of GPC development and enhance glial regeneration. This is of crucial importance to design cell-based repair strategies that promote functional recovery of the white matter under pathological conditions or after injury.