Scientific article
Open access

Engineering of midbrain organoids containing long-lived dopaminergic neurons

Published inStem cells and development, vol. 23, no. 13, p. 1535-1547
Publication date2014

The possibility to generate dopaminergic (DA) neurons from pluripotent stem cells represents an unlimited source of material for tissue engineering and cell therapy for neurodegenerative disease. We set up a protocol based on the generation of size-calibrated neurospheres for a rapid production (3 weeks) of a high amount of DA neurons (>60%) oriented toward a midbrain-like phenotype, characterized by the expression of FOXA2, LMX1A, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), NURR1, and EN1. By using γ-secretase inhibitors and varying culture time of neurospheres, we controlled maturation and cellular composition of a three-dimensional (3D) engineered nervous tissue (ENT). ENT contained neurons and glial cells expressing various markers of maturity, such as synaptophysin, neuronal nuclei-specific protein (NeuN), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and were electrophysiologically active. We found that 3-week-old neurospheres were optimal to generate 3D tissue containing DA neurons with typical A9 morphology. ENT generated from 4-week-old neurospheres launched glial cell type since astrocytes and myelin could be detected massively at the expense of TH-immunoreactive neurons. All γ-secretase inhibitors were not equivalent; compound E was more efficient than DAPT in generating DA neurons. This DA tissue provides a tool for drug screening, and toxicology. It should also become a useful biomaterial for studies on Parkinson's disease.

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dopaminergic Neurons/physiology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Mesencephalon/cytology
  • Organoids/cytology
  • Receptors, Notch/metabolism
  • Spheroids, Cellular/cytology
  • Tissue Engineering
Citation (ISO format)
TIENG CAULET, Vannary et al. Engineering of midbrain organoids containing long-lived dopaminergic neurons. In: Stem cells and development, 2014, vol. 23, n° 13, p. 1535–1547. doi: 10.1089/scd.2013.0442
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1547-3287

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