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High-yield generation of functional neurons from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells

Mouse and cell culture studies suggest the transcription factor neurogenin 2 (Neurog2; Ngn2) could be used to increase the yield of neurons generated from human pluripotent stem cells. In human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and human iPS cell lines, lentiviral vector-mediated expression of Ngn2 drove the induction of neuronal cells with near 100% yield and purity in less than 2 weeks. In culture, these cells formed synapses, and when cocultured with mouse cortical neurons, the cells integrated into synaptic networks. In newborn mice, transplanted cells functionally integrated into the mouse brain at six weeks. Next steps could include evaluating the method for the study of disease-specific mutations and drug vulnerabilities.

SciBX 6(27); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.705
Published online July 18, 2013

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Zhang, Y. et al. Neuron; published online June 5, 2013;
Contact: Thomas C. Südhof, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.