Here, iPSC technology is used to grow mini-brains in order to study inherited eye diseases. With cells from four iPSC donors, brain organoids were grown and on day 20, retinoic acid was added. After 30 days of cultivation, the organoids assembled optical vesicles, which developed within 60 days to visible structures. The optic vesicle-containing brain organoids (OVB-organoids) show various structures which are typical for the eye like primitive corneal epithelial and lens-like cells, retinal pigment epithelia, retinal progenitor cells, axon-like projections, and electrically active neuronal networks. They as well display synapsin-1, CTIP-positive myelinated cortical neurons, and microglia. The organoids even show photosensitive activity when triggered by various light intensities, which could be reset by transient photobleaching. The OVB-organoids possess the ability to self-organize forebrain-associated primitive sensory structures and thus can be used as a model to study eye development and underlying causes of eye diseases.
Human brain organoids assemble functionally integrated bilateral optic vesicles
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