Rapid and efficient induction of functional astrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells

Nat Methods. 2018 Sep;15(9):693-696. doi: 10.1038/s41592-018-0103-2. Epub 2018 Aug 20.


The derivation of astrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells is currently slow and inefficient. We demonstrate that overexpression of the transcription factors SOX9 and NFIB in human pluripotent stem cells rapidly and efficiently yields homogeneous populations of induced astrocytes. In our study these cells exhibited molecular and functional properties resembling those of adult human astrocytes and were deemed suitable for disease modeling. Our method provides new possibilities for the study of human astrocytes in health and disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytes / cytology*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Humans
  • NFI Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor / metabolism*


  • NFI Transcription Factors
  • NFIB protein, human
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • SOX9 protein, human