Differentiation of Brain Tumor Initiating Cells
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Differentiation is a central key capability of stem cells. Their ability to be multipotent and undergo self-renewal are key identifying features of stem cells. A differentiation assay allows for study of one of the essential features of stem cells, the ability to differentiate into all of the cell types of its lineage, in order to ensure that the cells cultured and utilized in key experiments indeed have stem cell properties. Neural stem cells when plated in differentiation media, differentiate into all three neural lineages: Neurons, Astrocytes, and Oligodendrocytes. Brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) are cells present in brain tumors that possess stem cell properties and are able to self-renew and differentiate into neural lineages. In the current chapter, we discuss protocols involved in immunofluorescence staining and identification of differentiated cells from BTIC populations.
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