SBRI Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute - France (Lyon)

Stem cells and cortical development

The central focus of our work is aimed at deciphering the relative contribution of the multiple factors that specify neocortical areas, with an emphasis on the role of cell-cycle modulation of cortical neuroblasts.

Generation of rhesus ES cell-derived astrocytes engineered to support maturation and survival of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons. Embryonic stem (ES) cells are thought to offer the most promise for yielding dopaminergic (DA) neurons suitable for transplantation in Parkinson’s disease. However, in all the transplantation studies based on TH+ neurons produced from ES cells the degree of DA cell survival following transplantation is small and the magnitude of behavioral benefit is modest. These results are thus encouraging, but underline the need for improved methods to promote the maintainance of differentiation and the survival of dopamine neuron after transplantation in order to expect to attain long-lasting benefits in Parkinsonian’s disease patients. To overcome this limitation, we shall develop a strategy based on the generation of astrocytes genetically engineered so as to express and release factors promoting differentiation and survival of midbrain dopamine neurons. Making use of the LYON-ES cell-line that we have isolated (Wianny et al., 2008) we shall generate astrocytes producing Wnt5a and/or GDNF. These engineered astrocytes will then be transplanted into the striatum of MPTP-treated monkeys together with DA neurons in collaboration with E. Procyk and P. Savatier teams.

Team Leader(s)


: Stem cells and cortical development

Members list

Heather Wild

Colette Dehay
Team Leader / DR1

Florence Wianny

Ugo Borello
Post Doc

Delphine Delaunay
Post Doc

Nolwenn Pasquet
Post Doc

Nathalie Doerflinger

Angèle Bellemin-Ménard

Dorothee Lamy

Claire Millet

Veronique Cortay

Julie Fousse
PhD Student

Rafal Krawczyk
PhD Student

Clarisse Pace
PhD Student

Julie Waltispurger
PhD Student

Charlotte Verrier

Selected Publications

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