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Browsing by Subject "ICC"

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  • Iacoviello, Francesco (2022)
    Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are disabilities in which the formation and development of the central nervous system is altered. NDDs severely impact the quality of life of the individuals that are affected by them, however little is known about the causes or the molecular mechanisms that are behind their onset. For this reason, being able to model them is pivotal to our society since, by understanding the mechanisms underlying such disorders, we could develop possible treatments. Previous research has suggested that disturbances in the early neuronal development could be at the basis of NDDs onset. Therefore, in this work, I have modeled neuronal differentiation in Kabuki syndrome (KS), a known NDD, assaying the expression of key early neurodevelopmental markers at four specific timepoints, using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. By concurrently differentiating three KS patient-derived and three control iPSC lines to neural precursor cells (NPCs) and profiling them with immunocytochemistry (ICC) and quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR), I was able to identify differences in the early developmental trajectories of NPCs between the two conditions. The ICC data suggested that differentiating KS cell lines incur in precocious differentiation when compared to control cell lines, suggesting that the disease-causing mutations could lead to accelerated neuronal maturation of early NPCs. However, RT-qPCR analysis of the expression patterns of key neurogenesis markers was unable to statistically confirm the observed trend between the two phenotypes, likely due to limitations in statistical power. Despite this, the expression of four out of seven NPC markers was higher in early KS cells than in control cell lines, supporting the hypothesis of accelerated neuronal maturation. Taken together, this work highlighted some of the challenges related to iPSC-based disease modelling studies, and the need to further confirm the inferred mechanisms of asynchronous neuronal development observed in this work.