||Differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from dissociated monolayer and feeder-free cultured pluripotent stem cells.
Oligodendrocytes myelinate axons and form myelin sheaths in the central nervous system. The development of therapies for demyelinating diseases, including multiple sclerosis and leukodystrophies, is a challenge because the pathogenic mechanisms of disease remain poorly understood. Primate pluripotent stem cell-derived oligodendrocytes are expected to help elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of these diseases. Oligodendrocytes have been successfully differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells. However, it is challenging to prepare large amounts of oligodendrocytes over a short amount of time because of manipulation difficulties under conventional primate pluripotent stem cell culture methods. We developed a proprietary dissociated monolayer and feeder-free culture system to handle pluripotent stem cell cultures. Because the dissociated monolayer and feeder-free culture system improves the quality and growth of primate pluripotent stem cells, these cells could potentially be differentiated into any desired functional cells and consistently cultured in large-scale conditions. In the current study, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and mature oligodendrocytes were generated within three months from monkey embryonic stem cells. The embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocytes exhibited in vitro myelinogenic potency with rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Additionally, the transplanted oligodendrocyte progenitor cells differentiated into myelin basic protein-positive mature oligodendrocytes in the mouse corpus callosum. This preparative method was used for human induced pluripotent stem cells, which were also successfully differentiated into oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and mature oligodendrocytes that were capable of myelinating rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Moreover, it was possible to freeze, thaw, and successfully re-culture the differentiating cells. These results showed that embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells maintained in a dissociated monolayer and feeder-free culture system have the potential to generate oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and mature oligodendrocytes in vitro and in vivo. This culture method could be applied to prepare large amounts of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and mature oligodendrocytes in a relatively short amount of time.