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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Mar 2024 - 15 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 12

Sci Rep




Characterization of human iPSC-derived sensory neurons and their functional assessment using multi electrode array.


Hiranuma M, Okuda Y, Fujii Y, Richard JP, Watanabe T


Sensory neurons are afferent neurons in sensory systems that convert stimuli and transmit information to the central nervous system as electrical signals. Primary afferent neurons that are affected by non-noxious and noxious stimuli are present in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and the DRG sensory neurons are used as an in vitro model of the nociceptive response. However, DRG derived from mouse or rat give a low yield of neurons, and they are difficult to culture. To help alleviate this problem, we characterized human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) derived sensory neurons. They can solve the problems of interspecies differences and supply stability. We investigated expressions of sensory neuron related proteins and genes, and drug responses by Multi-Electrode Array (MEA) to analyze the properties and functions of sensory neurons. They expressed nociceptor, mechanoreceptor and proprioceptor related genes and proteins. They constitute a heterogeneous population of their subclasses. We confirmed that they could respond to both noxious and non-noxious stimuli. We showed that histamine inhibitors reduced histamine-induced neuronal excitability. Furthermore, incubation with a ProTx-II and Nav1.7 inhibitor reduced the spontaneous neural activity in hiPSC-derived sensory neurons. Their responsiveness was different from each drug. We have demonstrated that hiPSC-derived sensory neurons combined with MEA are good candidates for drug discovery studies where DRG in vitro modeling is necessary.