Functional development of embryonic stem cell-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons

2017-02-16T23:46:35Z (GMT) by Watmuff, Bradley
Because of their unique properties, embryonic stem cells (ESCs) promise to deliver an indefinite number of any type of somatic cell. Unfortunately, current differentiation protocols only result in heterogeneous mixtures of cells, often with a low percentage of the desired cell type. Consequently, much stem cell research is currently devoted to understanding the nature of, or improving the yield from differentiation, which has often meant that detailed functional studies of the cells obtained from ESCs have been ignored. In this study I generated dopaminergic neurons, the cell type lost from the midbrain of patients with Parkinson’s disease, and investigated some of the functional characteristics these neurons possess throughout differentiation.