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Vascularized human cortical organoids model cortical development in vivo

By Yingchao Shi, Le Sun, Jianwei Liu, Suijuan Zhong, Mengdi Wang, Rui Li, Peng Li, Lijie Guo, Ai Fang, Ruiguo Chen, Woo-Ping Ge, Qian Wu, Xiaoqun Wang

Posted 26 Jun 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/682104

Modelling the neuronal progenitor proliferation and organization processes that produce mature cortical neuron subtypes is essential for the study of human brain development and the search for potential cell therapies. To provide a vascularized and functional model of brain organoids, we demonstrated a new paradigm to generate vascularized organoids that consist of typical human cortical cell types and recapitulate the lamination of the neocortex with a vascular structure formation for over 200 days. In addition, the observation of the sEPSCs (spontaneous Excitatory Postsynaptic Potential) and sIPSCs (spontaneous Inhibitory Postsynaptic Potential) and the bidirectional electrical transmission indicated the presence of chemical and electrical synapses in the vOrganoids. More importantly, the single-cell RNA-seq analysis illustrated that the vOrganoids exhibited microenvironments to promote neurogenesis and neuronal maturation that resembled in vivo processes. The transplantation of the vOrganoids to the mouse S1 cortex showed human-mouse co-constructed functional blood vessels in the grafts that could promote the survival and integration of the transplanted cells to the host. This vOrganoid culture method could not only serve as a model to study human cortical development and to explore brain disease pathology but could also provide potential prospects for new cell therapies for neural system disorders and injury.

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