A. McQuade et al. (DEC 2018)
Molecular neurodegeneration 13 1 67
Development and validation of a simplified method to generate human microglia from pluripotent stem cells.
BACKGROUND Microglia, the principle immune cells of the brain, play important roles in neuronal development, homeostatic function and neurodegenerative disease. Recent genetic studies have further highlighted the importance of microglia in neurodegeneration with the identification of disease risk polymorphisms in many microglial genes. To better understand the role of these genes in microglial biology and disease, we, and others, have developed methods to differentiate microglia from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). While the development of these methods has begun to enable important new studies of microglial biology, labs with little prior stem cell experience have sometimes found it challenging to adopt these complex protocols. Therefore, we have now developed a greatly simplified approach to generate large numbers of highly pure human microglia. RESULTS iPSCs are first differentiated toward a mesodermal, hematopoietic lineage using commercially available media. Highly pure populations of non-adherent CD43+ hematopoietic progenitors are then simply transferred to media that includes three key cytokines (M-CSF, IL-34, and TGF$\beta$-1) that promote differentiation of homeostatic microglia. This updated approach avoids the prior requirement for hypoxic incubation, complex media formulation, FACS sorting, or co-culture, thereby significantly simplifying human microglial generation. To confirm that the resulting cells are equivalent to previously developed iPSC-microglia, we performed RNA-sequencing, functional testing, and transplantation studies. Our findings reveal that microglia generated via this simplified method are virtually identical to iPS-microglia produced via our previously published approach. To also determine whether a small molecule activator of TGF$\beta$ signaling (IDE1) can be used to replace recombinant TGF$\beta$1, further reducing costs, we examined growth kinetics and the transcriptome of cells differentiated with IDE1. These data demonstrate that a microglial cell can indeed be produced using this alternative approach, although transcriptional differences do occur that should be considered. CONCLUSION We anticipate that this new and greatly simplified protocol will enable many interested labs, including those with little prior stem cell or flow cytometry experience, to generate and study human iPS-microglia. By combining this method with other advances such as CRISPR-gene editing and xenotransplantation, the field will continue to improve our understanding of microglial biology and their important roles in human development, homeostasis, and disease.
STEMdiff™ Hematopoietic Kit
Hicar MD et al. (JUL 2010)
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999) 54 3 223--35
Pseudovirion particles bearing native HIV envelope trimers facilitate a novel method for generating human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against HIV.
Monomeric HIV envelope vaccines fail to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies or to protect against infection. Neutralizing antibodies against HIV bind to native functionally active Env trimers on the virion surface. Gag-Env pseudovirions recapitulate the native trimer and could serve as an effective epitope presentation platform for study of the neutralizing antibody response in HIV-infected individuals. To address if pseudovirions can recapitulate native HIV virion epitope structures, we carefully characterized these particles, concentrating on the antigenic structure of the coreceptor binding site. By blue native gel shift assays, Gag-Env pseudovirions were shown to contain native trimers that were competent for binding to neutralizing monoclonal antibodies. In enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, pseudovirions exhibited increased binding of known CD4-induced antibodies after addition of CD4. Using flow cytometric analysis, fluorescently labeled pseudovirions specifically identified a subset of antigen-specific B cells in HIV-infected subjects. Interestingly, the sequence of one of these novel human antibodies, identified during cloning of single HIV-specific B cells and designated 2C6, exhibited homology to mAb 47e, a known anti-CD4-induced coreceptor binding site antibody. The secreted monoclonal antibody 2C6 did not bind monomeric gp120, but specifically bound envelope on pseudovirions. A recombinant form of the antibody 2C6 acted as a CD4-induced epitope-specific antibody in neutralization assays, yet did not bind monomeric gp120. These findings imply specificity against a quaternary epitope presented on the pseudovirion envelope spike. These data demonstrate that Gag-Env pseudovirions recapitulate CD4 and coreceptor binding pocket antigenic structures and can facilitate identification of B-cell clones that secrete neutralizing antibodies.