Join the journey from Neural Stem Cells to Myelin and everything in between.
Our Vision: Create a world where every myelin disease has a therapy.
Our Mission: Discover and pioneer innovative stem cell therapies that will transform the course or cure myelin disorders.
Our Strategy: Discover the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neural stem cell regulation in myelin diseases.
The myelin sheath is a specialized membrane synthesized by oligodendrocytes, which wraps around the axons of neurons in the vertebrate brain. In demyelinating diseases, disruption of myelin results in severe neurological deficits due to conduction block ultimately leading to the loss of axons. The goal in treating neurological diseases with myelin loss is to ensheath the axons that have lost their myelin, before the neurons degenerate.
The Samanta lab focuses on how neural stem cells regenerate myelin in the brain for recovery from a demyelinating insult i.e. remyelination. Our primary goal is to understand the disease process and identify factors that can help, endogenous neural stem cells in the adult brain, repair the myelin abnormalities observed in several neurological diseases including Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Schizophrenia.
Our objective is to understand the molecular underpinnings of signaling pathways responsible for the proliferation, migration and differentiation of neural stem cells and transform this knowledge for developing therapeutic strategies for remyelination.
We use several techniques to study myelin regeneration from neural stem cells:
1. Mouse models of diseases: To study remyelination, we induce demyelination in the brain with Lysolecithin injection, Cuprizone diet or use genetically modified mice responsive to Diphtheria toxin.
2. In vivo mouse genetics: We label specific populations of neural stem cells in the brain using genetically inducible fate-mapping techniques like Cre-Lox recombination. We also use genetically modified mice to activate or inhibit specific signaling pathways in neural stem cells by overexpressing or ablating different components of the pathway.
3. In vitro neural stem cell culture: We harvest neural stem cells from the ganglionic eminences in embryonic brains and subventricular zone in adult mouse brains and grow them as suspension cultures in a dish. In addition, we manipulate the signaling pathways pharmacologically or genetically to study proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells in vitro.