Human embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells capable of forming differentiated embryoid bodies (EBs) in culture. We examined the ability of growth factors under controlled conditions to increase the number of human ES cell-derived neurons. Retinoic acid (RA) and nerve growth factor (βNGF) were found to be potent enhancers of neuronal differentiation, eliciting extensive outgrowth of processes and the expression of neuron-specific molecules. Our findings show that human ES cells have great potential to become an unlimited cell source for neurons in culture. These cells may then be used in transplantation therapies for neural pathologies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was partially supported by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and by the Herbert Cohn Chair (N.B).
- Embryonic stem cell
- Nerve growth factor
- Neuronal differentiation
- Retinoic acid
- Transplantation therapy