Modeling neuromuscular biology and disease

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Science  14 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6479, pp. 753
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6479.753-a

Magnified view of neuromuscular junctions, which are complex assemblages of neurons and muscle cells that can now be replicated in organoids.


Producing organs on demand is an ambitious goal for cell and developmental biologists. The complexity of structure and function for many organs is a difficult challenge. As of now, organoids are the closest approximation. Faustino Martins et al. used human pluripotent stem cells as starting material to assemble neuromuscular organoids containing spinal cord neurons, associated neuromuscular junctions, and skeletal muscle cells. Neural and mesodermal cells were tracked through development by single-cell RNA sequencing. The neuromuscular organoids contracted and displayed neuronal circuits and were also induced to recapitulate the pathology of myasthenia gravis.

Cell Stem Cell 10.1016/j.stem.2019.12.007 (2020).

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