August 18, 2014

Blood cells unexpected source of new nerve cells in crayfish

A new study led by researchers at Uppsala University and Wellesley College, USA, demonstrates that the immune system in crayfish can produce cells with stem cell properties. These cells can then develop into new nerve cells in the adult animal. The findings were recently published in the journal Developmental Cell.

For years, researchers have tried to determine how nerve cells are produced and integrated into the brain throughout adult life. In a new study, a team of international scientists provides evidence that adult-born neurons in crayfish are derived from a special type of circulating blood cell produced by the immune system.