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Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1303:267-78. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2627-5_16.

Cortical Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Cells for In Vitro Modeling of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Stem cell models of Alzheimer's disease provide an opportunity to study the mechanisms underlying disease pathology at a resolution that is not possible in animal models. Furthermore, the ability to reprogram patient somatic cells to a pluripotent state ensures that the disease can be investigated in the correct genetic context. Here, we describe the directed differentiation of human pluripotent cells to cortical progenitors by recapitulating key developmental signaling events in vitro. Over a timeframe that mirrors human development, these progenitors give rise to functional lower and upper layer neurons. We also describe biochemical and imaging based methods to analyse key APP and Tau phenotypes in neurons generated from pluripotent stem cells from individuals with either monogenic familial Alzheimer's disease or Down's syndrome.

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