Repopulation of brain circuits by neural precursors is a potential therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative disorders; however, choice of cell is critical. Previously, we introduced a two-step culture system that generates a high yield of neural precursors from small samples of adult canine skin. Here, we probe their gene and protein expression profiles in comparison with dermal fibroblasts and brain-derived neural stem cells and characterize their neuronal potential. To date, we have produced >50 skin-derived neural precursor (SKN) lines. SKNs can be cultured in a highly replicable fashion and uniformly express a panel of identifying markers. Upon differentiation, they self-upregulate neural specification genes, generating neurons with basic electrophysiological functionality. This unique population of neural precursors, derived from mature skin, overcomes many of the practical issues that have limited clinical translation of alternative cell types. Easily accessible, neuronally committed, and patient specific, SKNs may have potential for the treatment of brain disorders.
Duncan, T., Lowe, A., Sidhu, K., Sachdev, P., Lewis, T., Lin, R. C. Y., … Valenzuela, M. (2017). Replicable Expansion and Differentiation of Neural Precursors from Adult Canine Skin. Stem Cell Reports, 9(2), 557–570. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.07.008