Neurosphere based differentiation of human IPSC improves astrocyte differentiation

Shuling Zhou, Karolina Szczesna, Anna Ochalek, Julianna Kobolák, Eszter Varga, Csilla Nemes, Abinaya Chandrasekaran, Mikkel Rasmussen, Susanna Cirera, Poul Hyttel, András Dinnyés, Kristine K. Freude, Hasan X. Avci

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are traditionally maintained and proliferated utilizing two-dimensional (2D) adherent monolayer culture systems. However, NPCs cultured using this system hardly reflect the intrinsic spatial development of brain tissue. In this study, we determined that culturing iPSC-derived NPCs as three-dimensional (3D) floating neurospheres resulted in increased expression of the neural progenitor cell (NPC) markers, PAX6 and NESTIN. Expansion of NPCs in 3D culture methods also resulted in a more homogenous PAX6 expression when compared to 2D culture methods. Furthermore, the 3D propagation method for NPCs resulted in a significant higher expression of the astrocyte markers GFAP and aquaporin 4 (AQP4) in the differentiated cells. Thus, our 3D propagation method could constitute a useful tool to promote NPC homogeneity and also to increase the differentiation potential of iPSC towards astrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4937689
JournalStem Cells International
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Zhou, S., Szczesna, K., Ochalek, A., Kobolák, J., Varga, E., Nemes, C., Chandrasekaran, A., Rasmussen, M., Cirera, S., Hyttel, P., Dinnyés, A., Freude, K. K., & Avci, H. X. (2016). Neurosphere based differentiation of human IPSC improves astrocyte differentiation. Stem Cells International, 2016, [4937689].