Combining NGN2 programming and dopaminergic patterning for a rapid and efficient generation of hiPSC-derived midbrain neurons.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Sci Rep, Volume 12, Issue 1, p.17176 (2022)


Cell Differentiation, Dopamine, Dopaminergic Neurons, Humans, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Mesencephalon, Neurotransmitter Agents, Oxidopamine, Parkinson Disease


<p>The use of human derived induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) differentiated to dopaminergic (DA) neurons offers a valuable experimental model to decorticate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. However, the existing approaches present with several limitations, notably the lengthy time course of the protocols and the high variability in the yield of DA neurons. Here we report on the development of an improved approach that combines neurogenin-2 programming with the use of commercially available midbrain differentiation kits for a rapid, efficient, and reproducible directed differentiation of hiPSCs to mature and functional induced DA (iDA) neurons, with minimum contamination by other brain cell types. Gene expression analysis, associated with functional characterization examining neurotransmitter release and electrical recordings, support the functional identity of the iDA neurons to A9 midbrain neurons. iDA neurons showed selective vulnerability when exposed to 6-hydroxydopamine, thus providing a viable in vitro approach for modeling PD and for the screening of small molecules with neuroprotective proprieties.</p>

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