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J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2015 May;56(3):166-70. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.15-39. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

Highly efficient direct conversion of human fibroblasts to neuronal cells by chemical compounds.

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Department of Pathology and Cell Regulation, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.


Direct conversion of mammalian fibroblasts into induced neuronal (iN) cells has been attained by forced expression of pro-neural transcriptional factors, or by combining defined factors with either microRNAs or small molecules. Here, we show that neuronal cells can be converted from postnatal human fibroblasts into cell populations with neuronal purities of up to >80% using a combination of six chemical compounds. The chemical compound-induced neuronal cells (CiNCs) express neuron-specific proteins and functional neuron markers. The efficiency of CiNCs is unaffected by either the donor's age or cellular senescence (passage number). We propose this chemical direct converting strategy as a potential approach for highly efficient generation of neuronal cells from human fibroblasts for such uses as in neural disease modeling and regenerative medicine.


chemical compounds; direct conversion; human fibroblasts; neuronal cells

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