Human motor neuron (MN) diseases encompass a spectrum of disorders. A critical barrier to dissecting disease mechanisms is the lack of appropriate human MN models. Here, we describe a scalable, suspension-based differentiation system to generate functional human MN diseases in 3 weeks. Using this model, we translated recent findings that mRNA mis-localization plays a role in disease development to the human context by establishing a membrane-based system that allows efficient fractionation of MN cell soma and neurites. In response to hypoxia, used to mimic diabetic neuropathies, MNs upregulated mitochondrial transcripts in neurites; however, mitochondria were decreased. These data suggest that hypoxia may disrupt translation of mitochondrial mRNA, potentially leading to neurite damage and development of neuropathies. We report the development of a novel human MN model system to investigate mechanisms of disease affecting soma and/or neurites that facilitates the rapid generation and testing of patient-specific MN diseases.
Keywords: cell compartments; diabetic neuropathies; fractionation; hypoxia; neurites; soma; stem cell-derived human motor neurons.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.