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    Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived MGE cell grafting after status epilepticus attenuates chronic epilepsy and comorbidities via synaptic integration. Upadhya Dinesh,Hattiangady Bharathi,Castro Olagide W,Shuai Bing,Kodali Maheedhar,Attaluri Sahithi,Bates Adrian,Dong Yi,Zhang Su-Chun,Prockop Darwin J,Shetty Ashok K Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)-like interneuron precursors derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are ideal for developing patient-specific cell therapy in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). However, their efficacy for alleviating spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRS) or cognitive, memory, and mood impairments has never been tested in models of TLE. Through comprehensive video- electroencephalographic recordings and a battery of behavioral tests in a rat model, we demonstrate that grafting of hiPSC-derived MGE-like interneuron precursors into the hippocampus after status epilepticus (SE) greatly restrained SRS and alleviated cognitive, memory, and mood dysfunction in the chronic phase of TLE. Graft-derived cells survived well, extensively migrated into different subfields of the hippocampus, and differentiated into distinct subclasses of inhibitory interneurons expressing various calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptides. Moreover, grafting of hiPSC-MGE cells after SE mediated several neuroprotective and antiepileptogenic effects in the host hippocampus, as evidenced by reductions in host interneuron loss, abnormal neurogenesis, and aberrant mossy fiber sprouting in the dentate gyrus (DG). Furthermore, axons from graft-derived interneurons made synapses on the dendrites of host excitatory neurons in the DG and the CA1 subfield of the hippocampus, implying an excellent graft-host synaptic integration. Remarkably, seizure-suppressing effects of grafts were significantly reduced when the activity of graft-derived interneurons was silenced by a designer drug while using donor hiPSC-MGE cells expressing designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs). These results implied the direct involvement of graft-derived interneurons in seizure control likely through enhanced inhibitory synaptic transmission. Collectively, the results support a patient-specific MGE cell grafting approach for treating TLE. 10.1073/pnas.1814185115
    WNT/NOTCH Pathway Is Essential for the Maintenance and Expansion of Human MGE Progenitors. Ma Lin,Wang Yiran,Hui Yi,Du Yanhua,Chen Zhenyu,Feng Hexi,Zhang Shuwei,Li Nan,Song Jianren,Fang Yujiang,Xu Xiangjie,Shi Lei,Zhang Bowen,Cheng Jiayi,Zhou Shanshan,Liu Ling,Zhang Xiaoqing Stem cell reports Medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)-like cells yielded from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) hold great potentials for cell therapies of related neurological disorders. However, cues that orchestrate the maintenance versus differentiation of human MGE progenitors, and ways for large-scale expansion of these cells have not been investigated. Here, we report that WNT/CTNNB1 signaling plays an essential role in maintaining MGE-like cells derived from hPSCs. Ablation of CTNNB1 in MGE cells led to precocious cell-cycle exit and advanced neuronal differentiation. Activation of WNT signaling through genetic or chemical approach was sufficient to maintain MGE cells in an expandable manner with authentic neuronal differentiation potencies through activation of endogenous NOTCH signaling. Our findings reveal that WNT/NOTCH signaling cascade is a key player in governing the maintenance versus terminal differentiation of MGE progenitors in humans. Large-scale expansion of functional MGE progenitors for cell therapies can therefore be achieved by modifying WNT/NOTCH pathway. 10.1016/j.stemcr.2019.04.007