We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Mini-brains Reveal Insights into Human Brain Development
News

Mini-brains Reveal Insights into Human Brain Development

Mini-brains Reveal Insights into Human Brain Development
News

Mini-brains Reveal Insights into Human Brain Development

Credit: Yale University
Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Mini-brains Reveal Insights into Human Brain Development"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Scientists can now explore in a laboratory dish how the human brain develops by creating organoids — distinct, three-dimensional regions of the brain. In research published in Cell Stem Cell, Yale scientists coaxed early stage stem cells to create and fuse two types of organoids from different brain regions to show how the developing brain maintains proper balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

A failure to maintain this balance has been implicated in a host of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

“The inhibitory neurons migrate from specific areas of the embryonic brain to the region where excitatory neurons are being produced,” said senior author In-Hyun Park, associate professor of genetics and associate professor in the Child Study Center. “What we did is to fuse these two areas and watched the process unfold.”

The Yale team used human pluripotent stem cells to grow an organoid called the human medial ganglionic eminence, which produces inhibitory neurons and plays a crucial but brief role in early development of the cortex. By merging this structure with another that produces excitatory neurons they could track migration of the inhibitory cells, which provide a crucial check on excitatory neurons.

Understanding the process will not only help researchers understand how the human brain evolved, but shed light on how imbalances contribute to many neurodevelopmental disorders.

For instance, excess activity by excitatory neurons has been implicated in schizophrenia while too much inhibitory neuronal activity may contribute to depression, Park said.  The imbalance has also been linked to development of autism spectrum disorders he said.

This article has been republished from materials provided by Yale University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Reference:

Xiang, Y., Tanaka, Y., Patterson, B., Kang, Y., Govindaiah, G., Roselaar, N., . . . Park, I. (2017). Fusion of Regionally Specified hPSC-Derived Organoids Models Human Brain Development and Interneuron Migration. Cell Stem Cell. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2017.07.007

Advertisement