Development of functional human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons in mouse brain


Human embryonic stem cells are pluripotent entities, theoretically capable of generating a whole-body spectrum of distinct cell types. However, differentiation of these cells has been observed only in culture or during teratoma formation. Our results show that human embryonic stem cells implanted in the brain ventricles of embryonic mice can differentiate into functional neural lineages and generate mature, active human neurons that successfully integrate into the adult mouse forebrain. Moreover, this study reveals the conservation and recognition of common signals for neural differentiation throughout mammalian evolution. The chimeric model will permit the study of human neural development in a live environment, paving the way for the generation of new models of human neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. The model also has the potential to speed up the screening process for therapeutic drugs.

Authors Muotri AR, Nakashima K, Toni N, Sandler VM, Gage FH
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publication Date 2005 Dec 20;102(51):18644-8
PubMed 16352714
PubMed Central PMC1317971
DOI 10.1073/pnas.0509315102

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