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Dental Stem Cells Provide Insight into Autism

Posted by [email protected] on Nov 11, 2017 8:45:00 AM

Dr. Patricia Braga and her team at the University of Sao Paolo, in collaboration with Alysson Muotri, professor of pediatrics and cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego, are using dental stem cells from donated baby teeth to grow neurons and examine the role of astrocytes in the expression of Autistic traits such as language impairment, repetitive behaviors and sleeping difficulties. Dr. Braga has used dental pulp stem cells from two groups of  patients - children with Autism and a non-autistic control group, and directed their stem cells to differentiate into brain cells in vitro. When allowed to grow, the stem cells developed into clusters that contained the star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, as well as fully grown neurons. Upon closer inspection, the astrocytes and neurons from children with Autism showed significant functional differences compared to the control group cells. Autistic astrocytes release excessive amounts of an inflammatory molecule called interleukin-6 (or IL6), which, in concentrated amounts, can harm nearby neurons and hinder their functionality. Additionally, the neurons from Autistic children were found to fire less frequently, form fewer synapses (connections with other neurons) and release less glutamate, which is used to excite surrounding neurons and transmit signals.


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Topics: autism and stem cells, dental stem cell, autologous dental pulp stem cells, regenerative medicine, Autism Spectrum Disorder

Dental Stem Cells Advance Understanding of Autism

Posted by [email protected] on Dec 5, 2016 4:31:11 PM

 

Neurobiologists are utilizing dental stem cells from the pulp of baby teeth to study Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dental stem cells are very plastic stem cells [they can be differentiated into many types of tissue] derived from the neural crest during early embryonic development.

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Topics: dental pulp, autism, regenerative medicine, stem cells, cell-reprogramming, Autism Spectrum Disorder

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AAOMS - American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

 

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