Human Brain Cells Boost Mouse Memory Human Brain Cells Boost Mouse Memory - ScienceNOW

Alone a w e e kly cha t on the hotte st topics in

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: kly Cha t on the Hotte st Topics in Scie nce Thurs day s 3 p.m. EDT Sc i enc eNO W . ISSN 1947- 8062 Thos e differenc es trans lated into improvements on behavioral tes ts . Mic e with human as troc y tes performed better on memory ex periments than thos e that had rec eived mous e c ell grafts , the team reports today in Cell Stem Cell. The human as troc y te-endowed rodents learned to fear a partic ular s ound or part of their environment after as s oc iating them jus t onc e with an elec tric s hoc k . This learning pers is ted for 3 day s , during whic h time ty pic al mic e did not learn at all, des pite being treated in ex ac tly the s ame way . The mic e with trans planted human c ells als o learned to find their way through a maz e in about half the time and were better able to rec ogniz e familiar objec ts in new loc ations . The res ults s upport the view that human brain evolution involved c ellular s pec ializ ations , inc luding the elaboration of as troc y te s truc ture and a boos t in their ability to regulate c ommunic ation between neurons at s y naps es , the res earc hers s ay . news.sciencemag .or g /sciencenow/2013/03/human- br ain- cells- boost- mouse- me.html?r ef= hp 1/2 4/24/13 Human Br ain Cells Boost M ouse M emor y - ScienceNOW Thes e are "very interes ting findings [that] s trongly s ugges t that human as troc y tes have an enhanc ed ability to c ontrol s y naps es ," s ay s neurobiologis t Ben Barres of Stanford Univers ity in Palo Alto, California. But he adds that the s tudy does not s how that human as troc y tes are genetic ally normal when engrafted into the mous e brain, and it does not rule out the idea that the improved learning and memory "c ould be due to the pers is ting progenitor c ells ." "It would be interes ting to s ee if they get the s ame effec ts by engrafting c himpanz ee or mac aque glia," adds evolutionary neuroanatomis t Todd Preus s of the Yerk es National Primate Res earc h Center at Emory Univers ity in Atlanta. This c ould determine whether the obs erved effec ts are due to properties that are unique to human c ells or c ommon to thos e of all primates . Goldman ac k nowledges thes e limitations , but he believes that the work will lead to a new way of inves tigating neurologic al and ps y c hiatric dis orders . "W e c an generate glial progenitors from reprogrammed human s k in c ells ," he s ay s , "and have already c reated mic e with glia from s c hiz ophrenic patients ." Suc h animals would be better than ex is ting animal models for tes ting potential new treatments , he s ugges ts . Chimeric mic e c ould als o provide more c lues about brain evolution by helping res earc hers identify as troc y te s pec ializ ations that are unique to humans . "Many neuros c ientis ts are unc omfortable with open dis c us s ion of human s pec ializ ations for fear that the adequac y of their animal model will be c alled into ques tion," Pre...
View Full Document

Ask a homework question - tutors are online