Scientists Implant Human Brain Tissue in Mice

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Scientists implanted human brain tissue in mice, according to a report published on April 23, 2018.

Human brain can be studied from brain ‘organoids’ that are made from stem cells. However, these tissues stay in a petri dish for just five days and not more than that. This study was conducted by researchers at the Salk Institute. The bean-sized brain organoid was implanted into a mouse and it was covered using a transparent window. By receiving blood supply from the mouse, the material survived for 233 days. All these days, it exhibited similar properties and growth, as if it were in a newborn.

Researchers found that consistent blood supply to them will help in keeping the cells alive for a longer period. Therefore, a small part of mouse brain tissue was removed and implanted into a blood-vessel-rich part of the mouse brain. For the first time ever, vessels formed with blood flowing through them and the organoid developed new neurons and neuronal support cells called astrocytes.

Abed AlFattah Mansour, one of the researchers said, “This indicates that the increased blood supply not only helped the organoid to stay healthy longer, but also enabled it to achieve a level of neurological complexity that will help us better understand brain disease.” The main objective of this study was to advance organoid research, which can then be used to treat humans. According to the researchers, this study has bought them one step closer, as it will be beneficial in designing better therapies for neurological and psychiatric diseases. Also, this would help scientists to study and treat mental illness and brain injuries.

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