Astrocytes, which are known as "housekeeping" cells because of the support they provide for neurons, could be useful in the treatment of strokes, according to a study in the journal Nature Communications. Researchers used Olig2, a transcription factor protein, to turn embryonic stem cells into astrocytes. "This exciting research uncovers the brain-protective powers of stem cell-derived astrocytes. Astrocytes may help to limit the spread of damage after an ischemic brain stroke in patients, and may also help to regenerate and repair damaged brain cells," study author Wenbin Deng said.
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