We report the direct reprogramming of both adult human fibroblasts and blood cells into induced neural plate border stem cells (iNBSCs) by ectopic expression of four neural transcription factors. Self-renewing, clonal iNBSCs can be robustly expanded in defined media while retaining multilineage differentiation potential. They generate functional cell types of neural crest and CNS lineages and could be used to model a human pain syndrome via gene editing of SCN9A in iNBSCs. NBSCs can also be derived from human pluripotent stem cells and share functional and molecular features with NBSCs isolated from embryonic day 8.5 (E8.5) mouse neural folds. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified the anterior hindbrain as the origin of mouse NBSCs, with human iNBSCs sharing a similar regional identity. In summary, we identify embryonic NBSCs and report their generation by direct reprogramming in human, which may facilitate insights into neural development and provide a neural stem cell source for applications in regenerative medicine.
Keywords: CRISPR; NSC; direct conversion; iNSC; neural crest; neural plate border; neural progenitor; neural stem cells; regenerative medicine.
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