Despite their therapeutic potential, progress in generating fully differentiated forebrain neurons from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) has lagged behind that from more caudal regions of the neuraxis. GABAergic interneuron precursors have the remarkable ability to migrate extensively and survive after transplantation into postnatal cortex, making them an attractive candidate for use in cell-based therapy for seizures or other neuropsychiatrie disorders. We have modified a mouse ESC line with an Lhx6-GFP reporter construct that allows for the isolation of newly generated cortical interneuron precursors. When transplanted into postnatal cortex, these cells can migrate into the cortical parenchyma, survive for months, and display morphological, neurochemical, and electrophysiological properties characteristic of mature interneurons. This work demonstrates that forebrain neuronal subtypes with complex traits can be generated from embryonic stem cells, and provides a novel approach to the study of cortical interneuron development and to the establishment of cell-based therapies for neurological disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience