Astrocytes, the most populous glial cell type in the brain, are critical for regulating the brain microenvironment. In various neurodegenerative diseases, astrocytes determine the progression and outcome of the neuropathological process. We have recently revealed the direct involvement of mitochondrial function in human pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived dopaminergic (DA) neuronal differentiation. Using the astroglial-neuronal co-culture system, we show here that astrocytes effectively rescue defects in neurogenesis of DA neurons with mitochondrial respiratory chain disruption. Co-culture of astrocytes with defective DA neurons completely restored mitochondrial functions and dynamics insulted by mitochondrial toxins. These results suggest the significance of astroglia in maintaining mitochondrial development and bioenergetics during differentiation of hiPSC-derived DA neurons. Our study also provides an active astroglial-neuronal interaction model for future investigation of mitochondrial involvement in neurogenesis and neurodegenerative diseases.
Du, F., Yu, Q., Chen, A., Chen, D., & ShiDu Yan, S. (2018). Astrocytes Attenuate Mitochondrial Dysfunctions in Human Dopaminergic Neurons Derived from iPSC. Stem Cell Reports, 10(2), 366–374. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.12.021