Publication — IRIC
A Human Cerebral Organoid Model of Neural Cell Transplantation.
The advancement of cell transplantation approaches requires model systems that allow an accurate assessment of transplanted cell functional potency. For the central nervous system, although xenotransplantation remains state-of-the-art, such models are technically challenging, limited in throughput, and expensive. Moreover, the environmental signals present do not perfectly cross-react with human cells. This paper presents an inexpensive, accessible, and high-throughput-compatible model for the transplantation and tracking of human neural cells into human cerebral organoids. These organoids can be easily generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells using commercial kits and contain the key cell types of the cerebrum. We first demonstrate this transplant protocol with the injection of EGFP-labeled human iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) into these organoids. We next discuss considerations for tracking the growth of these cells in the organoid by live-cell fluorescence microscopy and demonstrate the tracking of transplanted EGFP-labeled NPCs in an organoid over a 4 month period. Finally, we present a protocol for the sectioning, cyclic immunofluorescent staining, and imaging of the transplanted cells in their local context. The organoid transplantation model presented here allows the long-term (at least 4 months) tracking of transplanted human cells directly in a human microenvironment with an inexpensive and simple-to-perform protocol. It, thus, represents a useful model both for neural cell therapies (transplants) and, likely, for modeling central nervous system (CNS) tumors in a more microenvironmentally accurate manner.