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Article

hiPSC-Derived Schwann Cells Influence Myogenic Differentiation in Neuromuscular Cocultures

1
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, 68163 Mannheim, Germany
2
Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
3
Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University, 68159 Mannheim, Germany
4
Hector Institute for Translational Brain Research (HITBR gGmbH), 68159 Mannheim, Germany
5
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
6
Institute of Medical Technology, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences and Heidelberg University, 68163 Mannheim, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrea Pession
Cells 2021, 10(12), 3292; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10123292
Received: 22 October 2021 / Revised: 20 November 2021 / Accepted: 21 November 2021 / Published: 24 November 2021
Motoneurons, skeletal muscle fibers, and Schwann cells form synapses, termed neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). These control voluntary body movement and are affected in numerous neuromuscular diseases. Therefore, a variety of NMJ in vitro models have been explored to enable mechanistic and pharmacological studies. So far, selective integration of Schwann cells in these models has been hampered, due to technical limitations. Here we present robust protocols for derivation of Schwann cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) and their coculture with hiPSC-derived motoneurons and C2C12 muscle cells. Upon differentiation with tuned BMP signaling, Schwann cells expressed marker proteins, S100b, Gap43, vimentin, and myelin protein zero. Furthermore, they displayed typical spindle-shaped morphologies with long processes, which often aligned with motoneuron axons. Inclusion of Schwann cells in coculture experiments with hiPSC-derived motoneurons and C2C12 myoblasts enhanced myotube growth and affected size and number of acetylcholine receptor plaques on myotubes. Altogether, these data argue for the availability of a consistent differentiation protocol for Schwann cells and their amenability for functional integration into neuromuscular in vitro models, fostering future studies of neuromuscular mechanisms and disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: AChR; acetylcholine receptors; hiPSC; in vitro; neural crest; neuromuscular junction; NMJ; Schwann cells; stem cells AChR; acetylcholine receptors; hiPSC; in vitro; neural crest; neuromuscular junction; NMJ; Schwann cells; stem cells
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hörner, S.J.; Couturier, N.; Bruch, R.; Koch, P.; Hafner, M.; Rudolf, R. hiPSC-Derived Schwann Cells Influence Myogenic Differentiation in Neuromuscular Cocultures. Cells 2021, 10, 3292. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10123292

AMA Style

Hörner SJ, Couturier N, Bruch R, Koch P, Hafner M, Rudolf R. hiPSC-Derived Schwann Cells Influence Myogenic Differentiation in Neuromuscular Cocultures. Cells. 2021; 10(12):3292. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10123292

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hörner, Sarah J., Nathalie Couturier, Roman Bruch, Philipp Koch, Mathias Hafner, and Rüdiger Rudolf. 2021. "hiPSC-Derived Schwann Cells Influence Myogenic Differentiation in Neuromuscular Cocultures" Cells 10, no. 12: 3292. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10123292

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