The ability to differentiate stem cells into committed cell-types holds great benefit for drug screening and discovery, dysfunction studies of dysfunction and other downstream applications.
Current differentiation methods mimic the developmental signaling that occurs during neuron formation to generate neural progenitors, further differentiating these progenitors into functional neurons. However, these methods usually involve many intermediate stages requiring varying combinations of recombinant growth factors and small molecules, eventually yielding mixtures of both non-neuronal and neuronal cells with variable functional properties. Acheiving neuronal maturity and synaptic competence is a slow process; it can take as long as 30 weeks to attain.
Thus, there is a need for a method to obtain functional lineage specific cells from stem cells that overcomes or at least ameliorates one or more of the disadvantages stated above.
A rapid and efficient single-step method was created to generate either inhibitory induced GABAergic neurons (iGNs) or induced excitatory neurons (iENs), by way of doxycycline (Dox) as an inducer, using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs).
Disease modelling and drug testing/ toxicology for neurodegenerative diseases.
Co-culturing of the generated iGNs and iENs allows the formation of a cortical network which could be used for the purposes of drug testing and disease modelling, specially for neural disorders such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, etc