Neurology Central

FENS 2018: Stem cells and brain organoids – the ‘hot spots’ of brain research

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Stem cells and brain organoids were the focus of a symposium during the FENS Forum of Neuroscience (7–11 July, Berlin, Germany). Numerous investigations are focusing on how these stem cells become highly differentiated nerve cells, and in many laboratories, neuronal stem cells are being cultured as 3D structures, termed brain organoids.

These ‘mini brains’ can be utilized to investigate the early phases of brain development, as well as the development of neurological and psychiatric disorders and diseases. A large stem cell niche in the adult brain is the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ). Stem cells in this region have a spatial identity and, depending on their location, give rise to different subtypes of neurons that migrate to the olfactory bulb.

However, the signals that control the different pools of spatially distinct stem cells are unclear.

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