Duration of culture and sonic hedgehog signaling differentially specify PV versus SST cortical interneuron fates from embryonic stem cells

Jennifer A. Tyson, Ethan M. Goldberg, Asif M. Maroof, Qing Xu, Timothy J. Petros, Stewart A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)-derived GABAergic cortical interneurons (cINs) consist of multiple subtypes that are involved in many cortical functions. They also have a remarkable capacity to migrate, survive and integrate into cortical circuitry after transplantation into postnatal cortex. These features have engendered considerable interest in generating distinct subgroups of interneurons frompluripotent stem cells (PSCs) for the study of interneuron fate and function, and for thedevelopment of cell-based therapies. Although advances have been made, the capacity to generate highly enriched pools of subgroup fatecommitted interneuron progenitors from PSCs has remained elusive. Previous studies have suggested that the two main MGE-derived interneuron subgroups – those expressing somatostatin (SST) and those expressing parvalbumin (PV) – are specified in the MGE from Nkx2.1-expressing progenitors at higher or lower levels of sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling, respectively. To further explore the role of Shh and other factors in cIN fate determination,we generated a reporter line such that Nkx2.1-expressing progenitors express mCherry and postmitotic Lhx6-expressing MGE-derived interneurons express GFP. Manipulations of Shh exposure and time in culture influenced the subgroup fates of ESC-derived interneurons. Exposure to higher Shh levels, and collecting GFP-expressing precursors at 12 days in culture, resulted in the strongest enrichment for SST interneurons over those expressing PV, whereas the strongest enrichment for PV interneurons was produced by lower Shh and by collectingmCherry-expressing cells after 17 days in culture. These findings confirmthat fate determination of cIN subgroups is crucially influenced by Shh signaling, and provide a system for the further study of interneuron fate and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1267-1278
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortical interneurons
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Fate specification
  • Mouse
  • Parvalbumin
  • Somatostatin
  • Sonic hedgehog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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