Date: July 27, 2020
Link to Published Article: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0839-9
Anju Vasudevan, PhD, Senior Research Scientist and Scientific Director for the Angiogenesis and Brain Development research program at HMRI, and her colleagues’ work published on July 13 in Molecular Psychiatry* is considered to be a game-changing breakthrough uncovering why cell-based therapies are failing, and providing a missing link in the process, that when the right vascular cells are paired with neuronal cells, they work together successfully for brain repair and improvement of disease symptoms.
While studying the mechanics of the cells, Vasudevan and her team discovered that GABAergic neuronal cells must be paired with their vascular counterpart, the embryonic forebrain specific endothelial cells for faster, effective therapy.
“In short,” says Vasudevan, “we were able to replicate the close neurovascular interactions of the developing forebrain and prove their critical role in guiding the GABAergic interneurons to their final destination in the adult brain.”
The study used a GABA pathway component – the GABAA receptor beta 3 subunit (GABRB3) to isolate and generate a new human vascular cell product. This human vasculature is unique to the embryonic forebrain and distinct from vasculature in other organs, one of the many critical findings from Vasudevan’s work at HMRI that will aide scientists in the longer journey to use cell-based therapies for brain disorders.