Journal article

Organotypic Cocultures of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived-Neurons with Mammalian Inner Ear Hair Cells and Cochlear Nucleus Slices

Tomoko Hyakumura, Stuart McDougall, Sue Finch, Karina Needham, Mirella Dottori, Bryony A Nayagam

Stem Cells International | Hindawi Limited | Published : 2019


Stem cells have been touted as a source of potential replacement neurons for inner ear degeneration for almost two decades now; yet to date, there are few studies describing the use of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) for this purpose. If stem cell therapies are to be used clinically, it is critical to validate the usefulness of hPSC lines in vitro and in vivo. Here, we present the first quantitative evidence that differentiated hPSC-derived neurons that innervate both the inner ear hair cells and cochlear nucleus neurons in coculture, with significantly more new synaptic contacts formed on target cell types. Nascent contacts between stem cells and hair cells were immunopositive for both..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (GNT 1023372 and 2012-2017 to B.A.N.), a Research Fellowship from the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation (B.A.N.), the University of Melbourne, and graduate research scholarships from the Australian Stem Cell Centre and the Australian Government (Australian Post-Graduate Award, to T.H.). The Bionics Institute acknowledges the support it receives from the Victorian Government through its Operational Infrastructure Support Program.