Accession Number:

ADA621028

Title:

Importance of Being Nernst: Synaptic Activity and Functional Relevance in Stem Cell-derived Neurons

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INST OF CHEMICAL DEFENSE ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD

Report Date:

2015-07-26

Pagination or Media Count:

25.0

Abstract:

Functional synaptogenesis and network emergence are signature endpoints of neurogenesis. These behaviors provide higher-order confirmation that biochemical and cellular processes necessary for neurotransmitter release, post-synaptic detection and network propagation of neuronal activity have been properly expressed and coordinated among cells. The development of synaptic neurotransmission can therefore be considered a defining property of neurons. Although dissociated primary neuron cultures readily form functioning synapses and network behaviors in vitro , continuously cultured neurogenic cell lines have historically failed to meet these criteria. Therefore, in vitro -derived neuron models that develop synaptic transmission are critically needed for a wide array of studies, including molecular neuroscience, developmental neurogenesis, disease research and neurotoxicology. Over the last decade, neurons derived from various stem cell lines have shown varying ability to develop into functionally mature neurons. In this review, we will discuss the neurogenic potential of various stem cells populations, addressing strengths and weaknesses of each, with particular attention to the emergence of functional behaviors. We will propose methods to functionally characterize new stem cell-derived neuron SCN platforms to improve their reliability as physiological relevant models. Finally, we will review how synaptically active SCNs can be applied to accelerate research in a variety of areas. Ultimately, emphasizing the critical importance of synaptic activity and network responses as a marker of neuronal maturation is anticipated to result in in vitro findings that better translate to efficacious clinical treatments.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE