Generation of Neural Organoids from Human Embryonic Stem Cells Using the Rotary Cell Culture System: Effects of Microgravity on Neural Progenitor Cell Fate
Progress in aeronautics and spaceflight technologies requires in parallel further research on how microgravity may affect human tissue. To date, little is known about the effects of microgravity on human development. In this study we used the rotary cell culture system to investigate whether microgravity supports the generation and maintenance of neural organoids derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) as a model of human brain development. Our results show that although neural organoids could be generated and maintained in microgravity conditions, there were changes in expression of rostral-caudal neural patterning genes and cortical markers compared to organoids generated in standard conditions. This phenomenon was also observed in hESC-derived cortical organoids exposed to microgravity for relatively shorter periods. These results are one of the first for analyzing human neurogenesis in a microgravity environment.