Brief Azacytidine Step Allows The Conversion of
Suspension Human Fibroblasts into Neural
In recent years transdifferentiation technology has enabled direct conversion of human fibroblasts to become a valuable, abundant and accessible cell source for patient-specific induced cell generation in biomedical research. The majority of transdifferentiation approaches rely upon viral gene delivery which due to random integration with the host genome can cause genome instability and tumorigenesis upon transplantation. Here, we provide a simple way to induce neural progenitor-like cells from human fibroblasts without genetic manipulation by changing physicochemical culture properties from monolayer culture into a suspension in the presence of a chemical DNA methyltransferase inhibitor agent, Azacytidine. We have demonstrated the expression of neural progenitor-like markers, morphology and the ability to spontaneously differentiate into neural-like cells. This approach is simple, inexpensive, lacks genetic manipulation and could be a foundation for future chemical neural transdifferentiation and a safe induction of neural progenitor cells from human fibroblasts for clinical applications.