Cell reprogramming technologies have enabled the generation of various specific cell types including neurons from readily accessible patient cells, such as skin fibroblasts, providing an intriguing novel cell source for autologous cell transplantation. However, cell transplantation faces several difficult hurdles such as cell production and purification, long-term survival, and functional integration after transplantation. Recently, in vivo reprogramming, which makes use of endogenous cells for regeneration purpose, emerged as a new approach to circumvent cell transplantation. There has been evidence for in vivo reprogramming in the mouse pancreas, heart, and brain and spinal cord with various degrees of success. This mini review summarizes the latest developments presented in the first symposium on in vivo reprogramming glial cells into functional neurons in the brain and spinal cord, held at the 2014 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, DC.
Keywords: NG2 cell; astrocyte; brain repair; in vivo; neuron; reprogramming.