Neural differentiation medium for human pluripotent stem cells to model physiological glucose levels in human brain

Publication Name

Brain Research Bulletin


Cortical neurospheres (NSPs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), have proven to be a successful platform to investigate human brain development and neuro-related diseases. Currently, many of the standard hPSC neural differentiation media, use concentrations of glucose (approximately 17.5–25 mM) and insulin (approximately 3.2 μM) that are much greater than the physiological concentrations found in the human brain. These culture conditions make it difficult to analyse perturbations of glucose or insulin on neuronal development and differentiation. We established a new hPSC neural differentiation medium that incorporated physiological brain concentrations of glucose (2.5 mM) and significantly reduced insulin levels (0.86 μM). This medium supported hPSC neural induction and formation of cortical NSPs. The revised hPSC neural differentiation medium, may provide an improved platform to model brain development and to investigate neural differentiation signalling pathways impacted by abnormal glucose and insulin levels.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

Murdoch Children's Research Institute