Matsuoka AJ et al. (MAR 2017)
Stem cells translational medicine 6 3 923--936
Directed Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Toward Placode-Derived Spiral Ganglion-Like Sensory Neurons.
The ability to generate spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) from stem cells is a necessary prerequisite for development of cell-replacement therapies for sensorineural hearing loss. We present a protocol that directs human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) toward a purified population of otic neuronal progenitors (ONPs) and SGN-like cells. Between 82% and 95% of these cells express SGN molecular markers, they preferentially extend neurites to the cochlear nucleus rather than nonauditory nuclei, and they generate action potentials. The protocol follows an in vitro stepwise recapitulation of developmental events inherent to normal differentiation of hESCs into SGNs, resulting in efficient sequential generation of nonneuronal ectoderm, preplacodal ectoderm, early prosensory ONPs, late ONPs, and cells with cellular and molecular characteristics of human SGNs. We thus describe the sequential signaling pathways that generate the early and later lineage species in the human SGN lineage, thereby better describing key developmental processes. The results indicate that our protocol generates cells that closely replicate the phenotypic characteristics of human SGNs, advancing the process of guiding hESCs to states serving inner-ear cell-replacement therapies and possible next-generation hybrid auditory prostheses. textcopyright Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:923-936.
BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium
S. Bell et al. (JUL 2018)
Stem cell reports 11 1 183--196
Disruption of GRIN2B Impairs Differentiation in Human Neurons.
Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in GRIN2B, a subunit of the NMDA receptor, cause intellectual disability and language impairment. We developed clonal models of GRIN2B deletion and loss-of-function mutations in a region coding for the glutamate binding domain in human cells and generated neurons from a patient harboring a missense mutation in the same domain. Transcriptome analysis revealed extensive increases in genes associated with cell proliferation and decreases in genes associated with neuron differentiation, a result supported by extensive protein analyses. Using electrophysiology and calcium imaging, we demonstrate that NMDA receptors are present on neural progenitor cells and that human mutations in GRIN2B can impair calcium influx and membrane depolarization even in a presumed undifferentiated cell state, highlighting an important role for non-synaptic NMDA receptors. It may be this function, in part, which underlies the neurological disease observed in patients with GRIN2B mutations.
STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium
Gentle Cell Dissociation Reagent
BrainPhys™ Neuronal Medium
C. L. Moreno et al. ( 2018)
Molecular neurodegeneration 13 1 33
BACKGROUND Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a recognized risk factor for the development of cognitive impairment (CI) and/or dementia, although the exact nature of the molecular pathology of T2D-associated CI remains obscure. One link between T2D and CI might involve decreased insulin signaling in brain and/or neurons in either animal or postmortem human brains as has been reported as a feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we asked if neuronal insulin resistance is a cell autonomous phenomenon in a familial form of AD. METHODS We have applied a newly developed protocol for deriving human basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCN) from skin fibroblasts via induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. We generated wildtype and familial AD mutant PSEN2 N141I (presenilin 2) BFCNs and assessed if insulin signaling, insulin regulation of the major AD proteins Abeta$ and/or tau, and/or calcium fluxes is altered by the PSEN2 N141I mutation. RESULTS We report herein that wildtype, PSEN2 N141I and CRISPR/Cas9-corrected iPSC-derived BFCNs (and their precursors) show indistinguishable insulin signaling profiles as determined by the phosphorylation of canonical insulin signaling pathway molecules. Chronic insulin treatment of BFCNs of all genotypes led to a reduction in the Abeta$42/40 ratio. Unexpectedly, we found a CRISPR/Cas9-correctable effect of PSEN2 N141I on calcium flux, which could be prevented by chronic exposure of BFCNs to insulin. CONCLUSIONS Our studies indicate that the familial AD mutation PSEN2 N141I does not induce neuronal insulin resistance in a cell autonomous fashion. The ability of insulin to correct calcium fluxes and to lower Abeta$42/40 ratio suggests that insulin acts to oppose an AD-pathophysiology. Hence, our results are consistent with a potential physiological role for insulin as a mediator of resilience by counteracting specific metabolic and molecular features of AD.