New insights into how molecular time signaling controls stem cells at different stages of brain development could have implications for the development of novel treatments for psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, researchers reported.

Researchers from Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden, discovered that TGF-beta acts as a switch-signal in temporal patterning of the vertebrate brain that executes the transition between early and late phases of neurogenesis.

The identification of TGF-beta as a temporal switch signal and regulator of neural progenitor potential provides a future framework to modulate temporal identity and potency of neural cells in stem-cell engineering.

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