Directed growth and selective differentiation of neural progenitor cells on micropatterned polymer substrates
Directional growth and differentiation of adult rat hippocampal progenitor cells (AHPCs) were investigated on micropatterned polymer substrates in vitro. Astrocytes or AHPCs cultured on micropatterned polystyrene substrates chemically modified with laminin exhibited over 75% alignment in the groove direction. AHPCs co-cultured with astrocytes preferentially acquired neuronal morphology, with nearly double the percentage of cells expressing class III β-tubulin on the micropatterned half of the substrate, as opposed to the planar half of the substrate, or compared to those growing in the absence of astrocytes. This indicates that substrate three-dimensional topography, in synergy with chemical (laminin) and biological (astrocytes) guidance cues, facilitates neuronal differentiation of the AHPCs. Through multi-dimensional cell–cell interactions, this environment provides spatial control selectively enhancing neuronal differentiation and neurite alignment on topographically different regions of the same substrate. Integrating these cues is important in understanding and controlling neural stem cell differentiation and designing scaffolds for guided nerve regeneration.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 27, Issue 22, August 2006, Pages 4098–4108