An In Vivo Platform for Rebuilding Functional Neocortical Tissue

Alexandra Quezada, Claire Ward, Edward R. Bader, Pavlo Zolotavin, Esra Altun, Sarah Hong, Nathaniel J. Killian, Chong Xie, Renata Batista-Brito, Jean M. Hébert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent progress in cortical stem cell transplantation has demonstrated its potential to repair the brain. However, current transplant models have yet to demonstrate that the circuitry of transplant-derived neurons can encode useful function to the host. This is likely due to missing cell types within the grafts, abnormal proportions of cell types, abnormal cytoarchitecture, and inefficient vascularization. Here, we devised a transplant platform for testing neocortical tissue prototypes. Dissociated mouse embryonic telencephalic cells in a liquid scaffold were transplanted into aspiration-lesioned adult mouse cortices. The donor neuronal precursors differentiated into upper and deep layer neurons that exhibited synaptic puncta, projected outside of the graft to appropriate brain areas, became electrophysiologically active within one month post-transplant, and responded to visual stimuli. Interneurons and oligodendrocytes were present at normal densities in grafts. Grafts became fully vascularized by one week post-transplant and vessels in grafts were perfused with blood. With this paradigm, we could also organize cells into layers. Overall, we have provided proof of a concept for an in vivo platform that can be used for developing and testing neocortical-like tissue prototypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number263
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • layering
  • neocortex
  • tissue replacement
  • transplant
  • vascularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering


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