Electrophysiological Profile of Differentiating Human Central Canal Ependymal Stem-Progenitor CellsPublic Deposited
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Stem cell transplant and niche manipulation therapies are a promising tool for repairing damage from SCI and other neurodegenerative conditions. Since immunocytochemistry alone cannot adequately determine whether stem cells have differentiated into mature neurons, we used patch-clamp electrophysiology to assess passive and active electrical properties of spinal cord central canal stem cells. Human epSPCs differentiate towards a majority neuronal fate, with no action potential firing from two to ten weeks in vitro regardless of differentiation media. Passive membrane properties failed to reach typical mature neuron levels. The majority of cells showed voltage-dependent spontaneous synaptic currents with reversal near 0 mV, outward rectification, and decay kinetics consistent with excitatory glutamatergic responses. In future, research will examine the required timeline and most effective differentiation media for development of active membrane properties. Identification of receptor subtypes responsible for observed synaptic currents is required. This will inform future stem cell-based treatments of neurological disorders.
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