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Disease models

Induced neuronal (iN) cells from mouse embryonic fibroblasts to model neurological diseases

In vitro studies suggest iN cells could be useful for developing neurological disease models. In culture with primary mouse neurons, iN cells created from wild-type or autism-associated, neuroligin 3 (Nlgn3)-mutant mouse embryonic fibroblasts formed normal synaptic connections with neighboring neurons. In the Nlgn3-mutant iN cells, both GABAA receptor- and AMPA-type glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic transmission was lower than that seen in iN cells from wild-type mice, which recapitulates the phenotype of hippocampal neurons in Nlgn3-mutant mice. Next steps could include using iN cells to model neurological diseases.

SciBX 6(39); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1108
Published online Oct. 10, 2013

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Chanda, S. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online
Sept. 17, 2013;
Contact: Thomas C. Südhof, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.
Contact: Marius Wernig, same affiliation as above