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Keywords:

  • Human embryonic stem cells;
  • Neural differentiation;
  • Cell culture;
  • Cellular therapy

Abstract

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are self-renewing pluripotent cells that have the capacity to differentiate into a wide variety of cell types. This potentiality represents a promising source to overcome many human diseases by providing an unlimited supply of all cell types, including cells with neural characteristics. Therefore, this review summarizes early neural development and the potential of hESCs to differentiate under in vitro conditions, examining at the same time the potential use of differentiated hESCs for therapeutic applications for neural tissue and cell regeneration. STEM CELLS2009;27:78–87