Journal article

Electrophysiological properties of neurosensory progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells

Karina Needham, Tomoko Hyakumura, Niliksha Gunewardene, Mirella Dottori, Bryony A Nayagam



In severe cases of sensorineural hearing loss where the numbers of auditory neurons are significantly depleted, stem cell-derived neurons may provide a potential source of replacement cells. The success of such a therapy relies upon producing a population of functional neurons from stem cells, to enable precise encoding of sound information to the brainstem. Using our established differentiation assay to produce sensory neurons from human stem cells, patch-clamp recordings indicated that all neurons examined generated action potentials and displayed both transient sodium and sustained potassium currents. Stem cell-derived neurons reliably entrained to stimuli up to 20 pulses per second (pps)..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr Clare L. Parish and Jessie Leung for technical laboratory support, and Marc L. Brady and John R. Brady for engineering support. This work has been supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (Project Grant 1023372 and Fellowship 567117), The University of Melbourne, The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and Friedreich Ataxia Research Association. The funding bodies had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.