Reducing the complexity and cost of differentiation protocols is important for researchers. This interest fits with concerns about possible unintended effects that extrinsic patterning factors might introduce into human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) models of brain development or pathophysiology, such as masking disease phenotype. Here, we present two cerebellar differentiation protocols for hPSCs, designed with simpler startup method, fewer patterning factors, and less material requirements than previous protocols. Recently, we developed culture procedures, which generate free-floating 3-dimensional (3D) products consistent with other brain "organoid" protocols, including morphologies relevant to modeling brain development such as sub/ventricular zone- and rhombic lip-like structures. The second uses an adherent, 2D monolayer procedure to complete differentiation, which is shown capable of generating functional cerebellar neurons, as products are positive for cerebellar-associated markers, and exhibit neuron-like calcium influxes. Together, these protocols offer scientists a choice of options suited to different research purposes, as well as a basic model for testing other types of streamlined neural differentiations.
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