Fragile X syndrome patient-derived neurons developing in the mouse brain show FMR1 -dependent phenotypes



      Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is characterized by physical abnormalities, anxiety, intellectual disability, hyperactivity, autistic behaviors and seizures. Abnormal neuronal development in Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is poorly understood. Data on FXS patients remain scarce and FXS animal models have failed to yield successful therapies. In vitro models do not fully recapitulate the morphology and function of human neurons.


      To mimick human neuron development in vivo, we co-injected neural precursor cells derived from FXS patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells and neural precursor cells derived from corrected isogenic control induced pluripotent stem cells into the brain of neonatal immune-deprived mice.


      The transplanted cells populated the brain and a proportion differentiated into neurons and glial cells. Immunofluorescence and single and bulk RNA sequencing analyses showed accelerated maturation of FXS neurons after an initial delay. Additionally, we found increased percentages of Arc- and Egr1-positive FXS neurons and wider dendritic protrusions of mature FXS striatal medium spiny neurons.


      This transplantation approach provides new insights into the alterations of neuronal development in FXS by facilitating physiological development of cells in a 3D context.


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