Defining the nature of human pluripotent stem cell-derived interneurons via single-cell analysis

Thomas Allison, Justin Langerman, Shan Sabri, Marcos Otero-Garcia, Andrew Lund, John Huang, Xiaofei Wei, Ranmal A. Samarasinghe, Damon Polioudakis, Istvan Mody, Inma Cobos, Bennett G. Novitch, Daniel H. Geschwind, Kathrin Plath, William E. Lowry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The specification of inhibitory neurons has been described for the mouse and human brain, and many studies have shown that pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) can be used to create interneurons in vitro. It is unclear whether in vitro methods to produce human interneurons generate all the subtypes found in brain, and how similar in vitro and in vivo interneurons are. We applied single-nuclei and single-cell transcriptomics to model interneuron development from human cortex and interneurons derived from PSCs. We provide a direct comparison of various in vitro interneuron derivation methods to determine the homogeneity achieved. We find that PSC-derived interneurons capture stages of development prior to mid-gestation, and represent a minority of potential subtypes found in brain. Comparison with those found in fetal or adult brain highlighted decreased expression of synapse-related genes. These analyses highlight the potential to tailor the method of generation to drive formation of particular subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2548-2564
Number of pages17
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - 12 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • human brain interneuron
  • neuronal specification
  • pluripotent stem cell
  • single nuclei transcriptomics
  • transcriptional factor programming


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