NYSCF Innovators Derive Microglia From Stem Cells

Your body is full of immune cells that fight off infection and illness. You’ve probably heard of a few of them: white blood cells, B cells, T cells, etc. Your brain, however, has its own type of immune cells, and we call them “microglia”.

Microglia are increasingly implicated in neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, among many others. However, research into the role of human microglia in these disorders has long been hampered by the inability to obtain them from the human nervous system.

NYSCF scientists in collaboration with researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have developed a protocol for generating microglia from human stem cells. The new protocol enables scientists around the world to generate this critical cell type from individual patients and improve our understanding of the role of microglia neurological malfunction.

For example, we can now look at how microglia from patients with neurodegenerative diseases interact with other cells, study how they develop and die, and perform drug screenings. These are important steps toward the development of effective therapies.

For more information, check out the press release.

Read the paper in Stem Cell Reports

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