Publications

Here is a selection of publications where different laminin isoforms are being used to create more authentic cell culture systems

  • Area of interest

  • Modulation of Synapsin I Gene Expression in Rat Cortical Neurons by Extracellular Matrix

    Savettieri G., Mazzola G.A., Rodriguez Sanchez M.B., Caruso G., Di Liegro I., Cestelli A.Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 1998

    Here the authors have attempted to dissect the complex interaction between the genetic program and environmental cues involved in neuronal differentiation. In this study, neurons isolated from fetal rat brain (embryonic day 16) cortices were cultured on six different extracellular components, such as laminin-111, collagen, and poly-D-lysine in a chemically defined, neuron-specific medium. Among the ECM components tested, laminin allowed both firm attachment and extensive neurite outgrowth from neuronal cell bodies. Furthermore, laminin strongly increased gene expression the synapse-specific protein,  Synapsin I, a well-known central marker for neuronal differentiation. These results highlight the significance of extracellular matrix components, particularly laminins, for the extension of neurite networks and neuronal differentiation of primary cortical neurons.

  • Neurons From Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Under Xeno-Free Conditions Restore Motor Deficits in Parkinsonian Rodents

    Niclis J.C., Gantner C.W., Alsanie W.F., McDougall S.J., Bye C.R., Elefanty A.G., Stanley E.G., Haynes J.M., Pouton C.W., Thompson L.H., Parish C.L.Stem cells translational medicine, 2016

    In this study, the authors describe the first fully defined feeder- and xenogeneic-free protocol for the generation of vmDA neurons from hPSCs. The protocol is translational across multiple embryonic and induced hPSC lines. hPSCs were cultured xeno-free on laminin-521 in TeSR2. For vmDA differentiation, two xeno-free matrix proteins, vitronectin, and human laminin-521 were compared for their ability to replace Matrigel. Both matrices facilitated appropriate patterning, however, only laminin-521 supported the long-term attachment of neural precursors. This “next-generation” protocol consistently increases both the yield and proportion of vmDAneural progenitors (OTX2/FOXA2/LMX1A) and neurons (FOXA2/TH/PITX3) that display classical vmDA metabolic and electrophysiological properties. The mechanism underlying these improvements are identified and demonstrate clinical applicability with the first report of scalability and cryopreservation of bona fide vmDA progenitors at a time amenable to transplantation. Finally, transplantation of xeno-free vmDA progenitors from LMX1A- and PITX3-eGFP reporter lines into Parkinsonian rodents demonstrate improved engraftment outcomes and restoration of motor deficits.

  • Niche-derived laminin-511 promotes midbrain dopaminergic neuron survival and differentiation through YAP

    Zhang D., Yang S., Toledo E.M., Gyllborg D., Saltó C., Villaescusa J.C., Arenas E.Sci Signal. 2017

    The authors investigated the mechanisms controlling the survival of mDA neurons using embryonic and mDA neurons, midbrain tissue from mice, and differentiated human neural stem cells. The work identifies laminin511-YAP as a key pathway by which niche signals control the survival and differentiation of mDA neurons. Laminin alpha-5 is present in the extracellular matrix surrounding mDA neurons and indeed, the authors found laminin-511 promoted the survival and differentiation of mDA neurons via a novel pathway involving YAP, miR-130a, and PTEN. Laminin-511 bound to integrin a3b1 and activated the transcriptional cofactor YAP. Laminin511-YAP signaling enhanced cell survival by inducing the expression of the microRNA miR-130a, which suppressed the synthesis of the cell death–associated protein PTEN. In addition, laminin511-YAP signaling increased the expression of transcription factors critical for mDA identities, such as LMX1A and PITX3, and prevented the loss of mDA neurons in response to oxidative stress, a finding that warrants further investigation to assess the therapeutic potential for PD patients. The authors propose that by enhancing laminin511-YAP signaling, it may be possible to prevent mDA neuron degeneration in PD or enhance the survival of mDA neurons in cell replacement therapies.

  • Predictive Markers Guide Differentiation to Improve Graft Outcome in Clinical Translation of hESC-Based Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

    Kirkeby A., Nolbrant S., Tiklova K., Heuer A., Kee N., Cardoso T., Rylander Ottosson D., Lelos M.J., Rifes P., Dunnett S.B., Grealish S., Perlmann T., Parmar M. Cell Stem Cell, 2016

    Here, the authors developed a good manufacturing practice (GMP) differentiation protocol for the highly efficient and reproducible production of transplantable dopamine progenitors from hESCs on laminin-111. They identified predictive markers expressed in dopamine neuron progenitors that correlate with graft outcome in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Timed FGF8b resulted in a high yield of caudal VM cells and good graft outcomes correlate with markers of caudal VM and MHB. Commonly used markers did not accurately predict in vivo subtype-specific maturation. Instead, we identified a specific set of markers associated with the caudal midbrain that correlate with high dopaminergic yield after transplantation in vivo. Using these markers, GMP-adapted dopamine differentiation protocol was developed.

  • Generation of high-purity human ventral midbrain dopaminergic progenitors for in vitro maturation and intracerebral transplantation

    Nolbrant S., Heuer A., Parmar M., Kirkeby A. Nature Protocols, 2017

    Generation of precisely patterned neural cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) is instrumental in developing disease models and stem cell therapies. Here, the authors provide a detailed 16-d protocol for obtaining high-purity ventral midbrain (VM) dopamine (DA) progenitors for intracerebral transplantation into animal models and for in vitro maturation into neurons. They have successfully transplanted such cells into the rat; however, in principle, the cells can be used for transplantation into any animal model, and the protocol is designed to also be compatible with clinical transplantation into humans. They show how to precisely set the balance of patterning factors to obtain specifically the caudal VM progenitors that give rise to DA-rich grafts. By specifying how to perform quality control (QC), troubleshooting, and adaptation of the procedure, this protocol will facilitate implementation in different laboratories and with a variety of hPSC lines. To facilitate the reproducibility of experiments and enable the shipping of cells between centers, the authors present a method for cryopreservation of the progenitors for subsequent direct transplantation or terminal differentiation into DA neurons. This protocol is free of xeno-derived products and can be performed under good manufacturing practice (GMP) conditions.

  • Neuronal Replacement as a Tool for Basal Ganglia Circuitry Repair: 40 Years in Perspective

    Björklund A. and Parmar M. Front. Cell. Neurosci., 2020

    In this review article, the authors give an overview of past and current efforts to restore damaged connectivity in the adult mammalian brain using implants of fetal neuroblasts or stem cell-derived neuronal precursors. Focus on strategies aimed to repair damaged basal ganglia circuitry induced by lesions that mimic the pathology seen in humans affected by Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease.

  • Single cell transcriptomics identifies stem cell-derived graft composition in a model of Parkinson’s disease

    Tiklová K., Nolbrant S., Fiorenzano A., Björklund Å.K., Sharma Y., Heuer A., Gillberg L., Hoban D.B., Cardoso T., Adler A.F., Birtele M., Lundén-Miguel H., Volakakis N., Kirkeby A., Perlmann T., Parmar M.

    Cell replacement for the treatment of Parkinsonʼs disease (PD) can be obtained from fetal brain tissue or from stem cells. However, after transplantation, dopamine (DA) neurons are seen to be a minor component of grafts, and it has remained difficult to determine the identity of other cell types. Here, the authors use single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) combined with histological analyses to characterize intracerebral grafts from ventral midbrain (VM)-patterned human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and VM fetal tissue after long-term survival and functional maturation in a preclinical rat model of PD. Neurons and astrocytes were shown to be major components in both fetal and stem cell-derived grafts but oligodendrocytes are only detected in grafts of fetal tissue. On the other hand, a cell type closely resembling a class of newly identified perivascular-like cells is identified as a previously unknown component of hESC-derived grafts.

  • An Optimized Protocol for the Generation of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons under Defined Conditions

    Gantner C.W., Cota-Coronado A., Thomp L.H.STAR Protocols, 2020

    Here, the authors describe a xeno-free, feeder-free, and chemically defined protocol for the generation of ventral midbrain dopaminergic (vmDA) progenitors from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). This simple-to-follow protocol results in high yields of cryopreservable dopamine neurons across multiple hPSC lines. Wnt signaling is the critical component of the differentiation and can be finely adjusted in a line-dependent manner to enhance the production of dopamine neurons for the purposes of transplantation, studying development and homeostasis, disease modeling, drug discovery, and drug development.

  • β1 Integrin Maintains Integrity of the Embryonic Neocortical Stem Cell Niche

    Loulier et al.
    PLOS, 2009

  • Hippocampal neurons: Laminin chain expression suggests that laminin-10 is a major isoform in the mouse hippocampus and is degraded by the tissue plasminogen activator/plasmin protease cascade during excitotoxic injury

    Indyk et al.
    Neuroscience, 2003