Directly induced human Schwann cell precursors as a valuable source of Schwann cells

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Directly induced human Schwann cell precursors as a valuable source of Schwann cells
Han-Seop Kim; Jae Yun Kim; Cho-Lok Song; Ji Eun Jeong; Yee Sook Cho
Bibliographic Citation
Stem Cell Research & Therapy, vol. 11, pp. 257-257
Publication Year
Background: Schwann cells (SCs) are primarily responsible for regeneration and repair of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Renewable and lineage-restricted SC precursors (SCPs) are considered highly desirable and promising cell sources for the production of SCs and for studies of SC lineage development, but SCPs are extremely limited. Here, we present a novel direct conversion strategy for the generation of human SCPs, capable of differentiating into functional SCs. Methods: Easily accessible human skin fibroblast cells were directly induced into integration-free SCPs using episomal vectors (Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2, L-Myc, Lin28 and p53 shRNA) under SCP lineage-specific chemically defined medium conditions. Induced SCPs (iSCPs) were further examined for their ability to differentiate into SCs. The identification and functionality of iSCPs and iSCP-differentiated SCs (iSCs) were confirmed according to morphology, lineage-specific markers, neurotropic factor secretion, and/or standard functional assays. Results: Highly pure, Sox 10-positive of iSCPs (more than 95% purity) were generated from human skin fibroblasts within 3 weeks. Established iSCPs could be propagated in vitro while maintaining their SCP identity. Within 1 week, iSCPs could efficiently differentiate into SCs (more than 95% purity). The iSCs were capable of secreting various neurotrophic factors such as GDNF, NGF, BDNF, and NT-3. The in vitro myelinogenic potential of iSCs was assessed by myelinating cocultures using mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons or human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived sensory neurons (HSNs). Furthermore, iSC transplantation promoted sciatic nerve repair and improved behavioral recovery in a mouse model of sciatic nerve crush injury in vivo. Conclusions: We report a robust method for the generation of human iSCPs/iSCs that might serve as a promising cellular source for various regenerative biomedical research and applications, such as cell therapy and drug discovery, especially for the treatment of PNS injury and disorders.
Direct reprogrammingSchwann cell precursorsSchwann cellsPeripheral nerve systemNerve repair
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Division of Biomedical Research > Immunotherapy Research Center > 1. Journal Articles
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