Blood cells can be transformed into functional neurons

According to researchers, one milliliter of fresh or frozen blood can yield 50,000 neuronsów in the transdifferentiation process. Importantly, the comórek do not need to be put into a state of pluripotentiality beforehand, which significantly reduces the time of the whole operation.

The first step to the discovery was made back in 2010. In his laboratory, prof. Marius Wernig of Stanford University and his team transformed the comórki so that they became pluripotent, just like the cells of theóstem cells. The cells prepared in this wayórka, can then be turned into almost any kind of tissue. However, this process requires a great deal of work and time. Now the researchers have found a wayób for faster action.

Researchers have focused on B lymphocytes. As it turned out, these human comóimmune cells, can be transformed into neurons with the addition of just four proteins. The whole process takes much less time than before. The resultingób comórks are not perfect because they do not connect to each other and do not form synapses. Teamół points out, however, that this does not limit the usefulness of comórek in subsequent research.

– It’s a bit shocking how easy it is to turn T cells into working neurons, in just a few days – mówi prof. Wernig. – T lymphocytes are highly specialized comórkami with an oval shape, so fast conversion into neurons, whichóre are elongated and thin is astonishing,” adds.

Scientists stress that the resulting neurons have blood donor DNA. This provides unprecedented opportunities for research on waspsób patients with schizophrenia or autism. – Blood is very easy to get – mówi prof. Wernig. – Nearly every hospital patient leaves a próbka. They are often then used in further research,” adds.

For decades, scientists have been searching for answers to questions about the cause and treatment of schizophrenia or autism. The possibility of creating new neuronsóin the laboratory can helpóc in solving these puzzles.