ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-130927-16
Imaging-based chemical screening reveals activity-dependent neural differentiation of pluripotent stem cells
Sun, Y., Dong, Z., Jin, T., Ang, K.H., Huang, M., Haston, K.M., Peng, J., Zhong, T.P., Finkbeiner, S., Weiss, W.A., Arkin, M.R., Jan, L.Y., and Guo, S.
Date: 2013
Source: eLIFE   2: e00508 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Dong, Zhiqiang, Guo, Su, Peng, Jisong, Zhong, Tao P.
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cells, Cultured
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Ivermectin/analogs & derivatives
  • Ivermectin/pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Neurons/cytology*
  • Neurons/drug effects
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology*
  • Receptors, GABA-A/drug effects
PubMed: 24040509 Full text @ Elife

Mammalian pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) represent an important venue for understanding basic principles regulating tissue-specific differentiation and discovering new tools that may facilitate clinical applications. Mechanisms that direct neural differentiation of PSCs involve growth factor signaling and transcription regulation. However, it is unknown whether and how electrical activity influences this process. Here we report a high throughput imaging-based screen, which uncovers that selamectin, an anti-helminthic therapeutic compound with reported activity on invertebrate glutamate-gated chloride channels, promotes neural differentiation of PSCs. We show that selamectin’s pro-neurogenic activity is mediated by γ2-containing GABAA receptors in subsets of neural rosette progenitors, accompanied by increased proneural and lineage-specific transcription factor expression and cell cycle exit. In vivo, selamectin promotes neurogenesis in developing zebrafish. Our results establish a chemical screening platform that reveals activity-dependent neural differentiation from PSCs. Compounds identified in this and future screening might prove therapeutically beneficial for treating neurodevelopmental or neurodegenerative disorders.