Neural stem/progenitor cell (NSC/NPC) cultures can be a source of dopamine (DA) neurons for experimental and transplantation purposes. Nurr1, a steroid receptor transcription factor, can overcome the limitations associated with differentiation of cultured NPCs into DA neurons. However, forced Nurr1 expression in NPC cultures generates non-neuronal and/or immature DA cells. We show here that the Nurr1 level and period of expression crucially affect the differentiation and maturation of Nurr1-induced DA neurons. Mature DA neurons were generated by manipulating Nurr1 expression patterns to resemble those in the developing midbrain.
- Dopamine neurons
- Doxycycline inducible expression system
- Neuronal maturation
- Parkinson's disease