Pluto Biosciences, Inc

GSE74065: Rapid conversion of fibroblasts into functional forebrain GABAergic interneurons by direct genetic reprogramming

Bulk RNA sequencing

Transplantation of GABAergic interneurons (INs) can sustain long-standing benefits in animal models of epilepsy and other neurological disorders. In a therapeutic perspective, a renewable source of functional GABAergic INs is needed. Here, we identified five factors (Foxg1, Sox2, Ascl1, Dlx5 and Lhx6) able to convert fibroblasts directly into induced GABAergic INs (iGABA-INs), displaying the molecular signature of telencephalic INs. The selected factors recapitulate in fibroblasts the activation of transcriptional networks required for the specification of GABAergic fate during telencephalon development. iGABA-INs exhibited progressively maturing firing patterns comparable to those of cortical INs, had synaptic currents and released GABA. Importantly, upon grafting in the hippocampus, iGABA-INs survived, matured and their optogenetic stimulation triggered GABAergic transmission and inhibited the activity of connected granule cells. The five factors also converted human cells into functional GABAergic neurons. These properties define iGABA-INs as a promising tool for disease modeling and cell-based therapeutic approaches. SOURCE: Vania Broccoli (broccoli.vania@hsr.it) - Ospedale San Raffaele

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