A defined roadmap of radial glia and astrocyte differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells

Vukasin M. Jovanovic, Claire Weber, Jaroslav Slamecka, Seungmi Ryu, Pei-Hsuan Chu, Chaitali Sen, Jason Inman, Juliana Ferreira De Sousa, Elena Barnaeva, Marissa Hirst, David Galbraith, Pinar Ormanoglu, Yogita Jethmalani, Jennifer Colon Mercado, Sam Michael, Michael E. Ward, Anton Simeonov, Ty C. Voss, Carlos A. Tristan and Ilyas Singeç

Stem Cell Reports, July 13, 2023


NCATS researchers use Axion’s Maestro MEA to characterize the function of hPSC-derived astrocytes in vitro. 

Conventional protocols to derive astrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are costly and time-consuming, typically progressing from neurogenesis to gliogenesis. In this study, researchers present a novel differentiation protocol to generate astrocytes directly from radial glial cells (RGCs), bypassing neurogenesis for more efficient astrocyte derivation. To characterize hPSC-derived astrocyte function in vitro, particularly support and enhancement of neural activity in co-culture, the scientists used Axion’s noninvasive, label-free Maestro multielectrode array (MEA) platform. Together with other results, the authors suggest that the “establishment of a glia-exclusive neural lineage progression model serves as a unique serum-free platform of manufacturing large numbers of RGCs and astrocytes for neuroscience, disease modeling (e.g., Alexander disease), and regenerative medicine.”