Much like cities and towns connected by highways and streets, the neurons in our brains are connected by nerve fibers called dendrites and axons. Neurons are supported by other neural cells called astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s are studying how neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes form from neural stem cells during development and in the adult brain, which could shed new light on why some people develop diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and brain tumors. Deeper understanding of the molecular signals involved in these diseases may eventually may lead to more successful treatments.
This image of mouse neuron formation was created using a fluorescent microscope. The neurons were treated with proteins that bind only to specific parts of the sample and cause them to glow in different colors when viewed under the microscope. In this image, blue indicates cell nuclei while red and green reveal axons and dendrites.
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