The new research should help refine stem cell engineering and transplanting methods prior to testing in clinical trials of Parkinson’s disease.
The researchers – including teams from Lund University and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm – report their work in two related studies published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
In one study, the researchers take a closer look at the molecular pathways involved in the journey, from a stem cell to a dopamine neuron. In the other study, they discover some key features of dopamine cell development and what makes these cells different from other similar and neighboring neurons.
The findings should help fine-tune stem cell engineering to produce pure populations of high-quality dopamine neurons, they note.
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