Saturday, March 16, 2013

hNP1 Neural Progenitors to Sensory Neurons

A Source for SN-Related Neural Circuits and for Designing Therapeutic Models for Related Diseases.

Researchers have successfully differentiated our hNP1TM Neural Progenitors into Sensory Neurons. These cells can be passaged 10X+ prior to differentiation. This means basic and drug discovery researchers now have a source to generate large quantities of SNs: Xiufang Guo, Severo Spradling, Maria Stancescu, Stephen Lambert, James J. Hickman. Derivation of sensory neurons and neural crest stem cells from human neural progenitor hNP1. Biomaterials, In Press, Corrected Proof, Mar 2013.doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.02.061.

Abstract: Although sensory neurons constitute a critical component for the proper function of the nervous system, the in vitro differentiation of functional sensory neurons from human stem cells has not yet been reported. This study presents the differentiation of sensory neurons (SNs) from a human neural progenitor cell line, hNP1, and their functional maturation in a defined, in vitro culture system without murine cell feeder layers. The SNs were characterized by immunocytochemistry and their functional maturation was evaluated by electrophysiology. Neural crest (NC) precursors, as one of the cellular derivatives in the differentiation culture, were isolated, propagated, and tested for their ability to generate sensory neurons. The hSC-derived SNs, as well as the NC precursors provide valuable tools for developing in vitro functional systems that model sensory neuron-related neural circuits and for designing therapeutic models for related diseases.
Images: Phase contrast images of the cultures before and after the sensory neuron induction. A) hNP1 culture before sensory induction. B) hNP1 culture 10 days after sensory induction. C) hNP1 culture 30 days after sensory induction. Neuronal clusters and axonal bundles, which resemble rat DRG cell cultures, were typically observed. D) For comparison, an image of a rat embryonic DRG cell culture at 7 DIV is provided.

Images: Generation of Schwann cells from the differentiated culture. Immunostaining of a day 38 culture with the Schwann cell marker S100 demonstrating a significant number of Schwann cells in the culture. Schwann cells were located either within the neuronal clusters (A) or along the axonal bundles (B). The neuronal clusters and axonal bundles were marked by Peripherin immunostaining.

We are developing human cell based assays for High Content and Throughput Screening and will continue to post updates.

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