Reprogramming of Pericyte-Derived Cells of the Adult Human Brain into Induced Neuronal Cells
ABSTRACT Reprogramming of somatic cells into neurons provides a new approach toward cell-based therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. A major challenge for the translation of neuronal reprogramming into therapy is whether the adult human brain contains cell populations amenable to direct somatic cell conversion. Here we show that cells from the adult human cerebral cortex expressing pericyte hallmarks can be reprogrammed into neuronal cells by retrovirus-mediated coexpression of the transcription factors Sox2 and Mash1. These induced neuronal cells acquire the ability of repetitive action potential firing and serve as synaptic targets for other neurons, indicating their capability of integrating into neural networks. Genetic fate-mapping in mice expressing an inducible Cre recombinase under the tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase promoter corroborated the pericytic origin of the reprogrammed cells. Our results raise the possibility of functional conversion of endogenous cells in the adult human brain to induced neuronal fates.
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ABSTRACT: The application of cell-based therapies in regenerative medicine is gaining recognition. Here, we show that human bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs), also known as bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal cells, can be reprogrammed into renal proximal tubular-like epithelial cells using cell-free extracts. Streptolysin-O-permeabilized BMSCs exposed to HK2-cell extracts underwent morphological changes-formation of "domes" and tubule-like structures-and acquired epithelial functional properties such as transepithelial-resistance, albumin-binding, and uptake and specific markers E-cadherin and aquaporin-1. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of brush border microvilli and tight intercellular contacts. RNA sequencing showed tubular epithelial transcript abundance and revealed the upregulation of components of the EGFR pathway. Reprogrammed BMSCs integrated into self-forming kidney tissue and formed tubular structures. Reprogrammed BMSCs infused in immunodeficient mice with cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury engrafted into proximal tubuli, reduced renal injury and improved function. Thus, reprogrammed BMSCs are a promising cell resource for future cell therapy. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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ABSTRACT: The proneural transcription factor Ascl1 coordinates gene expression in both proliferating and differentiating progenitors along the neuronal lineage. Here, we used a cellular model of neurogenesis to investigate how Ascl1 interacts with the chromatin landscape to regulate gene expression when promoting neuronal differentiation. We find that Ascl1 binding occurs mostly at distal enhancers and is associated with activation of gene transcription. Surprisingly, the accessibility of Ascl1 to its binding sites in neural stem/progenitor cells remains largely unchanged throughout their differentiation, as Ascl1 targets regions of both readily accessible and closed chromatin in proliferating cells. Moreover, binding of Ascl1 often precedes an increase in chromatin accessibility and the appearance of new regions of open chromatin, associated with de novo gene expression during differentiation. Our results reveal a function of Ascl1 in promoting chromatin accessibility during neurogenesis, linking the chromatin landscape at Ascl1 target regions with the temporal progression of its transcriptional program. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Cell Reports 03/2015; 10:1-13. DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2015.02.025 · 7.21 Impact Factor