Current approaches to derive oligodendrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) need extended exposure of hPSCs to growth factors and small molecules, which limits their clinical application because of the lengthy culture time required and low generation efficiency of myelinating oligodendrocytes. Compared to extrinsic growth factors and molecules, oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation can be more effectively modulated by regulation of the cell transcription network. In the developing central nervous system (CNS), two basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, Olig1 and Olig2, are decisive in oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation. Olig2 plays a critical role in the specification of oligodendrocytes and Olig1 is crucial in promoting oligodendrocyte maturation. Recently viral vectors have been used to overexpress Olig2 and Olig1 in neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs) to induce the maturation of oligodendrocytes and enhance the remyelination activity in vivo. Because of the safety issues with viral vectors, including the insertional mutagenesis and potential tumor formation, non-viral transfection methods are preferred for clinical translation. Here we report a poly(β-amino ester) (PBAE)-based nanoparticle transfection method to deliver Olig1 and Olig2 into human fetal tissue-derived NSCs and demonstrate efficient oligodendrocyte differentiation following transgene expression of Olig1 and Olig2. This approach is potentially translatable for engineering stem cells to treat injured or diseased CNS tissues. Statement of Significance Current protocols to derive oligodendrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) require lengthy culture time with low generation efficiencies of mature oligodendrocytes. We described a new approach to enhance oligodendrocyte differentiation through nanoparticle-mediated transcription modulation. We tested an effective transfection method using cell-compatible poly (β-amino ester) (PBAE)/DNA nanoparticles as gene carrier to deliver transcription factor Olig1 and Olig2 into human fetal tissue-derived neural stem/progenitor cells, and showed efficient oligodendrocyte differentiation following transgene expression of Olig1 and Olig2. We believe that this translatable approach can be applied to many other cell-based regenerative therapies as well.
- Oligodendrocyte differentiation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology