Connectivity and circuitry in a dish versus in a brain

Chinchalongpom, Vorapin; Koppensteiner, Peter; Prè, Deborah; Thangnipon, Wipawan; Bilo, Leonilda; Arancio, Ottavio

In order to understand and find therapeutic strategies for neurological disorders, disease models that recapitulate the connectivity and circuitry of patients’ brain are needed. Owing to many limitations of animal disease models, in vitro neuronal models using patient-derived stem cells are currently being developed. However, prior to employing neurons as a model in a dish, they need to be evaluated for their electrophysiological properties, including both passive and active membrane properties, dynamics of neurotransmitter release, and capacity to undergo synaptic plasticity. In this
review, we survey recent attempts to study these issues in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons. Although progress has been made, there are still many hurdles to overcome before human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons can fully recapitulate all of the above physiological properties of adult mature neurons. Moreover, proper integration of neurons into pre-existing circuitry still needs to be achieved. Nevertheless, in vitro neuronal stem cell-derived models hold great promise for clinical application in neurological diseases in the future.


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Also Published In

Alzheimer's Research & Therapy

More About This Work

Academic Units
Pathology and Cell Biology
BioMed Central Ltd.
Published Here
July 31, 2015