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Human Motor Neuron and Astrocytes in MEA

Researchers from the laboratory of Nicholas J. Maragakis (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) recently developed a method for the coculture of human‐induced pluripotent stem cell‐derived astrocytes (hiPSC‐As) with distinct spinal cord identity with spinal cord motor neurons (hiPSC‐MNs) for multielectrode array (MEA) recordings. In this new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, Taga et al. demonstrated that hiPSC‐As influence the morphological, molecular, and electrophysiological maturation of hiPSC‐MNs and that coculture with hiPSC‐MNs enhances hiPSC‐A maturation. The authors hope that this new platform will provide a new tool for the investigation of astrocyte/MN interactions and allow the accurate modeling of human diseases with spinal cord pathology, including spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.