Here human iPSC-derived neural stem cells (red) form polarized cellular rosettes with mitotic stem cells at the center. The rosettes mimic the polarized neuroepithelium that form during development in vivo and enable cellular studies of human forebrain neurogenesis. These iPSCs were directed to differentiate as stem cells of the cerebral cortex, the integrative and executive center of the human brain. Neural stems cells are labeled red with an antibody to Pax6, and dividing stems cells are labeled white with an antibody to phospho-histone H3. Gamma tubulin is labeled green, marking the apical surface of the stem cells. Image was acquired with a confocal microscope.
The development of human iPSCs has opened a whole new continent for exploration, thanks largely to their remarkable ability to generate an unlimited source of any human cell type. For starters, now researchers can study the development and function of live human neurons, a cell type previously inaccessible to most scientists.
By Yichen Shi and Rick Livesey, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge