Pnky, an RNA molecule, can be manipulated to increase the production of neurons from neural stem cells, a new study reports.
Researchers have uncovered how a change in the PTBP1 protein can spur the creation of neurons. They propose this change could have fuelled the evolution of the human brain.
Researchers administered PTB antisense oligonucleotide treatment directly to the midbrain of mice. In the mouse models exposed to the treatment, a small subset of astrocytes converted to neurons, increasing the number of neurons by 30%. Three months after treatment, mice were completely free of Parkinson's disease symptoms and remained in remission for the rest of their lives.