Maria А. Aleksandrova
PhD., Dr. Sci. Biol.
Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology of Russian Academy of Sciences
Neuroontogenesis, differentiation of nerve tissue, regeneration in the central nervous system, neural stem cells, neurotransplantation, dedifferentiation of central nervous system cells, plasticity of non neural cells
The mechanisms of growth, differentiation, morphological and functional integration of poorly differentiated neural cells in the microenvironment of the adul brain were studied. It has been established that regenerative processes in a pathologically brain are associated with both functional integration and the neurotrophic effect of embryonic cells. The data obtained were combined into a fundamental concept about cellular interactions between poorly differentiated cells and adult brain tissue. A commonality of the morphological and molecular mechanisms of growth and differentiation of the human brain and retina neural stem cells in vitro was found. Similar properties were found during the de- and transdifferentiation of retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) of the human eye, which showed the plasticity and stem properties of the latter. The RPE dedifferentiation mechanisms recruit a number of pluripotency genes and modulate BMP, WNT, Notch signaling pathways; as a result, cells acquire the ability to differentiate along the neural or mesenchymal pathways. This poses the problem of searching for molecules of regulators of transdifferentiation of RPE. The data presented are summarized in two monographs and ~ 80 publications.