Discovery of Induced-Oligodendrocyte Progenitors holds great promise for Medicine

Oligodendrocytes are the cell-type responsible for myelinating neurons of the brain. In myelin diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy, oligodendrocytes are destroyed causing severe disability in patients. Researchers are desperate to understand disease pathology and also to develop cell transplantation therapies. However efforts have been largely hindered by limited access to oligodendrocytes.

The Tesar Lab has unlocked the potential to produce oligodendrocyte progenitors through a novel technique. This technique, published in Nature Biotechnology, involves directly converting fibroblasts into oligodendrocyte progenitors.

This work opens the possibility of taking an abundant cell type (fibroblasts – from skin) from a patient and producing oligodendrocytes specific to that individual. Researchers could then study a patient’s own oligodendrocytes (personalized medicine) or generate enough oligodendrocyte progenitors to be transplanted back into the patient (cell therapy).

Congratulations to Tesar Lab members Bobby Karl, Dan Factor, Angela Lager and Fadi Najm for their hard work and success on this project!

Click Here for the publication.

Click Here for the press release.

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If you have any questions or would like to accelerate the pace of development of new therapeutics for human disorders of myelin like multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy please contact Dr. Paul Tesar:

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