Efficient Induction of Oligodendrocytes from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Authors

  • Sang-Moon Kang,

    1. Department of Physiology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Brain Korea 21st Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Myung Soo Cho,

    1. R&D Center, Jeil Pharmaceutical Company, Yongin, Korea
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  • Hyemyung Seo,

    1. Division of Molecular & Life Sciences, College of Science & Technology, Hanyang University, Ansan, Korea
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  • Chul Jong Yoon,

    1. Laboratory of Electron Microscope, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
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  • Sun Kyung Oh,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
    2. Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Population, Medical Research Center, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
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  • Young Min Choi,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
    2. Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Population, Medical Research Center, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
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  • Dong-Wook Kim Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physiology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Brain Korea 21st Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    3. Center for Cell Therapy, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    • Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea, Telephone: 82-2-2228-1703; Fax: 82-2-393-0203
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Abstract

Oligodendrocytes form myelin sheaths around axons to support rapid nerve conduction in the central nervous system (CNS). Damage to myelin can cause severe CNS disorders. In this study, we attempted to devise a protocol for the induction of oligodendrocytes from human embryonic stem (ES) cells to treat demyelinated axons. Four days after embryoid body formation, human ES cells were differentiated into neural precursors through selection and expansion procedures. Neural precursors were then grown in the presence of epidermal growth factor and then platelet-derived growth factor to generate oligodendrocyte precursor cells. After withdrawal of the growth factors, the cells were treated with thyroid hormone to induce differentiation into oligodendrocytes. This method resulted in ∼81%–91% oligodendrocyte precursor cells and ∼81% oligodendrocytes among total cells. The ability of the oligodendrocyte precursors to myelinate axons has been verified by coculturing with rat hippocampal neurons, confirming their biological functionality.

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