Efficient generation of astrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells in defined conditions

Stem Cells. 2013 May;31(5):941-52. doi: 10.1002/stem.1334.


Astrocytes can be generated from various tissue sources including human pluripotent stem cells (PSC). In this manuscript, we describe a chemically defined xeno-free medium culture system for rapidly generating astrocytes from neural stem cells derived from PSC. We show that astrocyte development in vitro, mimics normal development in vivo, and also passes through a CD44(+) astrocyte precursor stage. Astrocytes generated by our method display similar gene expression patterns, morphological characteristics and functional properties to primary astrocytes, and they survive and integrate after xenotransplantation. Whole genome expression profiling of astrocyte differentiation was performed at several time points of differentiation, and the results indicate the importance of known regulators and identify potential novel regulators and stage-specific lineage markers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology*
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cryopreservation
  • Cytological Techniques / methods
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Transplantation, Heterologous