Sunday, October 27, 2019

Mice with Human Brain Cells

Article Written By: Kian Yousefi Kousha


A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience worked on implementing human brain cells into mice brains. The presence of human brain cells in the mouse’s brain allows scientists to study different neurological diseases and conditions in a whole brain, rather than a laboratory dish. According to Steve Goldman, the study’s lead from Rochester University Medical Centre, these mice still have their own neurons which are responsible for sending and receiving information from various parts of the body. What makes them unique is the presence of human glial cells that are responsible for supporting neurons. 

Rochester University scientists extracted glial cells from the human fetus and injected it into young mice. In fact, each mouse received 300,000 human glials which multiplied to 12 billion after a year, ultimately moving the mouse counterparts to the margins and replacing the native cells. The extracted glial cells were ‘astrocytes’ which are responsible for maintaining the ionic environment within the human brain. They also play an important role in the movement of electrical signals from one neuron to the other. 

According to NewScientist, human astrocytes are almost 20 times the size of mouse glial cells. Therefore, by implementing human glial cells in mice brain, a huge difference is noticed in the conduction of electrical messages, eventually leading to changes in mice intelligence. Interestingly, Goldman’s team used standard memory and cognition tests to realize that mice with human glial cells have a much better memory, almost 4 times greater than the control mice.

Learn more by reading the full article at New Scientist:

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