A simple differentiation protocol for generation of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived basal forebrain-like cholinergic neurons for Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia disease modeling

Sonia Sanz Muñoz, Martin Engel, Rachelle Balez, Dzung Do-Ha, Mauricio Castro Cabral-da-Silva, Damian Hernández, Tracey Berg, Jennifer A. Fifita, Natalie Grima, Shu Yang, Ian P. Blair, Garth Nicholson, Anthony L. Cook, Alex W. Hewitt, Alice Pébay, Lezanne Ooi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The study of neurodegenerative diseases using pluripotent stem cells requires new methods to assess neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration of specific neuronal subtypes. The cholinergic system, characterized by its use of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, is one of the first to degenerate in Alzheimer’s disease and is also affected in frontotemporal dementia. We developed a differentiation protocol to generate basal forebrain-like cholinergic neurons (BFCNs) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) aided by the use of small molecule inhibitors and growth factors. Ten iPSC lines were successfully differentiated into BFCNs using this protocol. The neuronal cultures were characterised through RNA and protein expression, and functional analysis of neurons was confirmed by whole-cell patch clamp. We have developed a reliable protocol using only small molecule inhibitors and growth factors, while avoiding transfection or cell sorting methods, to achieve a BFCN culture that expresses the characteristic markers of cholinergic neurons.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2018
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalCells
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • induced pluripotent stem cells
  • disease modelling
  • neuronal differentiation
  • cholinergic neurons
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • frontotemporal dementia

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