Brain organoids are amazing models for human brain growth and disease. Organoids are three-dimensional tissue cultures originating from stem cells that are small and self-organized. Such colonies may be designed to mimic much of an organ’s complexity or to express certain features of it, such as creating only certain types of cells.
Organoids: A New Insight Into Disease, Growth, And Exploration
Scientist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine has created the first organoids of the arcuate nucleus (ARC) based on methods for creating organoids to model various brain regions such as the cortex and the midbrain. This region of the hypothalamus has much greater cell diversity than traditionally developed areas of the brain and is much more complex.
Consider the prospect of assembling individualized, diverse cell specimens that resemble a patient’s tissues. Because of the work of scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the technology—the potential to develop “organoids”—is becoming a reality and finding new applications every day.
The Penn report produces arcuate organoids that model ARC of hypothalamic diseases in a paper published today in Cell Stem Cell. Previous experiments also developed human-produced pluripotent stem cells in 2D hypothalamic and 3D hypothetic organoids (iPSCs).
However, there were no guidelines for generating particular organoids for the hypothalamus nucleus. Researchers used a computer learning technique and reported mouse results to simulate ARC populations at the single-celled stage.
In the neonatal hypothalamus, researchers compared individual cell clusters from the ARCO dataset with the projected ARC cells of humans. Using this technique, Arcos demonstrated a very close range of cell types and molecular symbols to that seen in human ARCs.
Senior author and Penn professor of Neuroscience Guo-li Ming, Ph.D., MD stated that this model helps one to investigate previously unavailable human fetal growth of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus, and they now have a book of cell types in the hypothalamus of humans, this will serve as a model for further thought the progression of brain diseases such as obesity and autism.
Be mindful that the potential of a defect within a hypothalamus will lead to a condition such as Prader-Wil syndrome (PWS), which is a genital disorder triggered by the lack of functionalities of a certain gene on chromosome15. The genetic signatures for illness and patients are maintained by Arcos from PWS patients.
They showed that Arcos from PWS patients had gene signatures for diseases and patients. For example, the ARC is liable for controlling the leptin reaction, which controls food consumption, and it’s understood that this mechanism is disrupted in PWS patients.
Researchers discovered that the PWS ARCO shows leptin reaction and signal pathway instability, which means that Arcos could not only recapitulate single nuclei in terms of cell type change and molecular signatures.
Ming says that their research establishes a versatile, effective, and reliable procedure for producing ARC-specific organoids that could be used to simulate early hypothalamic brain development and associated brain diseases.
Other investigators have reported that they are looking to further studies with a broader group of Donors with Prader-Willi syndrome to help them better model PWS in Arcos and to understand the possible cellular and molecular biology of the disease.