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Green and blue dopaminergic neural progenitor cells

Neural Progenitor Cell-derived Neurospheres: Build Dimension into Your Toxicity Studies

December 09, 2021, at 12:00 PM ET


Neurospheres have recently gained attention as an alternative to using 2-D culture to investigate the neurotoxicity of novel drugs. Traditional in vitro neurosphere cultures are isolated from site-specific tissue; however, neurospheres derived in such a manner are highly dynamic, non-clonal, and variable. Because of this dynamicity, researchers find it challenging to manipulate and control experimental parameters, confounding experimental results.

Human iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) are an appealing resource for toxicity screening, as they can be clonally expanded and differentiated into a variety of neural subtypes. In this webinar, we describe a straightforward method of generating neurospheres from ATCC NPCs. We then show data indicating that the neurospheres differentiated into multiple brain lineage cells and responded as anticipated to pharmacologic agents, confirming their feasibility in toxicological assays.

Key Points

  • NPC-derived neurospheres grew exponentially and maintained their progenitor state for up to two weeks in culture.
  • Neurospheres successfully differentiated into multiple brain lineage cells including dopaminergic neurons.
  • Neurospheres treated with various chemotherapeutic agents gave differential responses between healthy and Parkinson’s disease cells.

Watch The Presentation


Brian Shapiro, headshot.

Brian Shapiro, PhD

Marketing Segment Manager, Oncology, ATCC

Brian A Shapiro, PhD, works to communicate the scientific breakthroughs of ATCC’s product development laboratories to the biomedical research community. Brian is the Executive Producer of ATCC's Podcast, Behind the Biology. Previously, he worked at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he investigated the role of pre-mRNA splicing in the multi-drug resistance of lung cancer. Dr. Shapiro attended the Medical College of Georgia, where his research focused on adrenal physiology as well as diseases of the epidermis.