Send to

Choose Destination
Mech Dev. 1995 Oct;53(2):275-87.

Differentiation of pluripotent embryonic stem cells into the neuronal lineage in vitro gives rise to mature inhibitory and excitatory neurons.

Author information

Institut für Pharmakologie, FU Berlin, Germany.


Embryonic stem (ES) cells represent a suitable model to analyze cell differentiation processes in vitro. Here, we report that pluripotent ES cells of the line BLC 6 differentiate in vitro into neuronal cells possessing the complex electrophysiological and immunocytochemical properties of postmitotic nerve cells. In the course of differentiation BLC 6-derived neurons differentially express voltage-dependent (K+, Na+, Ca2+) and receptor-operated (GABAA, glycine, AMPA, NMDA receptors) ionic channels. They generate fast Na(+)-driven action potentials and are functionally coupled by inhibitory (GABAergic) and excitatory (glutamatergic) synapses as revealed by measurements of postsynaptic currents. Moreover, BLC 6-derived neurons express neuron-specific cytoskeletal, cell adhesion and synaptic vesicle proteins and exhibit a Ca(2+)-dependent GABA secretion. Thus, the ES cell model enables the investigation of cell lineage determination and signaling mechanisms in the developing nervous system from a pluripotential stem cell to a differentiated postmitotic neuron. The in vitro differentiation of neurons from ES cells may be an excellent approach to study by targeted gene disruption a variety of neuronal functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center