Recent advances in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) offer new possibilities for biomedical research and clinical applications. Differentiated neurons from hiPSCs are expected to be useful for developing novel methods of treatment for various neurological diseases. However, the detailed process of functional maturation of hiPSC-derived neurons (hiPS neurons) remains poorly understood. This study analyzes development of hiPS neurons, focusing specifically on early developmental stages through 48 hr after cell seeding; development was compared with that of primary cultured neurons derived from the rat hippocampus. At 5 hr after cell seeding, neurite formation occurs in a similar manner in both neuronal populations. However, very few neurons with axonal polarization were observed in the hiPS neurons even after 48 hr, indicating that hiPS neurons differentiate more slowly than rat neurons. We further investigated the elongation speed of axons and found that hiPS neuronal axons were slower. In addition, we characterized the growth cones. The localization patterns of skeletal proteins F-actin, microtubule, and drebrin were similar to those of rat neurons, and actin depolymerization by cytochalasin D induced similar changes in cytoskeletal distribution in the growth cones between hiPS neurons and rat neurons. These results indicate that, during the very early developmental stage, hiPS neurons develop comparably to rat hippocampal neurons with regard to axonal differentiation, but the growth of axons is slower. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Neuroscience Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Morphological development of rat and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons (hiPS neurons) before axonal polarization is similar. However, morphological development of axons in the hiPS neurons develops more slowly, showing especially slow elongation of the axon.