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A novel in vitro peripheral nervous system myelination model.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 — Poster Session I

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • B.S. Jha
  • N. Malik
  • M. Rao


Functional in-vitro models comprised of human cells form a vital platform to study the systems biology and for drug discovery. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) – myelination model is one such system to study a comprehensive list of disorders of the PNS including, but not limited to, polyneuropathies, spinal muscular atrophy, and demyelinating disorders.. A healthy and functional model comprises of human motorneurons, human schwann cells, and human skeletal myotubes. Any of the above mentioned three components of this model can be replaced with a diseased cell line to study its pathology, and to functionally evaluate the efficacy of gene therapy. In a healthy model, neural stem cells were differentiated to mature, post-mitotic motorneurons. These were co-cultured with human skeletal muscle myotubes differentiated from myoblasts obtained commercially. Immortalized primary human fetal schwann cells (SCs) were then added to this co-culture system. The mature, healthy motorneurons send out neurites to target the myotubes and form neuromuscular junctions. The SCs migrate along the axons of the motorneurons and myelinate them. This model system sets a stage for enhancing the study of PNS disorders and for analysis of various treatment approaches, thereby hastening the process of translation of research to the practice.

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