Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) into an Effective Model of Forebrain Neural Progenitor Cells and Mature Neurons

Bio Protoc. 2019 Mar 5;9(5):e3188. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3188.


Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) are pluripotent stem cells that can be generated from somatic cells, and provide a way to model the development of neural tissues in vitro. One particularly interesting application of iPSCs is the development of neurons analogous to those found in the human forebrain. Forebrain neurons play a central role in cognition and sensory processing, and deficits in forebrain neuronal activity contributes to a host of conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and schizophrenia. Here, we present our protocol for differentiating iPSCs into forebrain neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and neurons, whereby neural rosettes are generated from stem cells without dissociation and NPCs purified from rosettes based on their adhesion, resulting in a more rapid generation of pure NPC cultures. Neural progenitor cells can be maintained as long-term cultures, or differentiated into forebrain neurons. This protocol provides a simplified and fast methodology of generating forebrain NPCs and neurons, and enables researchers to generate effective in vitro models to study forebrain disease and neurodevelopment. This protocol can also be easily adapted to generate other neural lineages.

Keywords: Cortical; Forebrain; NPC; NSC; Neuron; iPSC.