Heinrich C, Götz M, Berninger B (2012)
Reprogramming of postnatal astroglia of the mouse neocortex into functional, synapse-forming neurons.Methods Mol Biol 814: 485-98
Direct conversion of glia into neurons by cellular reprogramming represents a novel approach toward a cell-based therapy of neurodegenerative processes. Here we describe a protocol that allows for the direct and efficient in vitro reprogramming of mouse astroglia from the early postnatal neocortex by forced expression of single neurogenic fate determinants. By selective retrovirus-mediated expression of neurogenin-2 (Neurog2) on the one hand, or the mouse homologue of Distal-less Dlx2 or the mammalian homologue of achaete-schute-1 (Mash1) on the other, it is possible to drive postnatal astroglia in culture toward the genesis of fully functional, synapse-forming, glutamatergic, i.e., excitatory, and GABAergic, i.e., inhibitory, neurons, respectively.