Wednesday, 06 July 2022 13:21

Cerebral cortex in the Petri dish Featured

A German-Israeli team of researchers has succeeded in recreating the outer human cerebral cortex in an organoid form in the petri dish. They have found a way to more easily grow a type of stem cell needed for this purpose.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, from the Free University of Berlin, Kiel University Hospital, as well as Tel Aviv University, Israel, have succeeded in generating brain organoids enriched with outer radial glia stem (oRG) cells. The stem cells of the nervous system are normally difficult to grow but are crucial for the development of the human cerebral cortex.

For this purpose, the team exposed stem cells at a very early stage of their development to several chemical substances for a short time, thereby inhibiting certain signal transduction pathways in the cells. Thus, the TGF-β receptor kinase and a WNT signaling pathway were inhibited.

The development is suitable, for example, to study cortex-specific microcephaly defects.

The researchers presented their development in the journal Nature Cell Biology.
Rosebrock D, Arora S, Mutukula N, Volkman R, Gralinska E, Balaskas A, Aragonés Hernández A, Buschow R, Brändl B, Müller FJ, Arndt PF, Vingron M, Elkabetz Y. (2022). Enhanced cortical neural stem cell identity through short SMAD and WNT inhibition in human cerebral organoids facilitates emergence of outer radial glial cells. Nature Cell Biology