Induced neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells

Maya Schuldiner, Rachel Eiges, Amir Eden, Ofra Yanuka, Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor, Ronald S. Goldstein, Nissim Benvenisty*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

370 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)201-205
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding 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


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