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Adding human glial cells to mice brains found to improve memory and cognition

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Posted December 4, 2014

A team of researchers working at the University of Rochester in New York, has found that injecting glial cells into a mouse brain caused an improvement in both memory and cognition in the mouse. In their paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience, the team explains how they injected the test mice and then tested them afterwards to see what impact it had on their abilities.

Glial cells

Glial cells in a rat brain stained with an antibody against GFAP. Credit: Orchinik Lab, Arizona State University, via Wikipedia

Injecting human brain cells into mice brains appears to be the stuff of horror films, but in this case, it wasn’t really what it might have seemed. Glial cells are precursors to other cells—in this case, they develop into astrocytes, which are technically, brain cells. But, the important distinction here is that they are not neurons, which means they are not involved in thinking—instead they are involved in memory retention and help with housekeeping tasks.

Last year, the team injected mature glial cells into mice brains and reported improvements in ability by the mice—this time they went further, injecting progenitor precursor glial cells, which allows for development of more astrocytes.

Read more at: MedicalXpress

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