Immature neuronal phenotype derived from mouse skin precursor cells differentiated in vitro

Ginetta Collo, Francesca Goffi, Emilio Merlo Pich, Pietro Baldelli, Fabio Benfenati, PierFranco Spano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent findings indicate that skin-derived precursor cells (SKPs) of mouse dermis can differentiate in cells with neuronal-like morphology. However, direct evidence supporting the establishment of functional phenotype is missing. In the present study, SKP cells were obtained using published in vitro techniques and studied at 14- to 21-day differentiation, when neuronal-like morphology was observed. The experiment was repeated 39 times. Co-cultures with cortical astrocytes were also used to enhance the process of neural differentiation. Expression of GAP43 and light-chain MAP-2(c) but not markers of dendritic and synaptic terminal differentiation such as heavy-chain MAP-2(ab) and synapsin were observed. Voltage-clamp electrophysiology recordings showed potassium currents, but neither action potentials generation nor electrotonic response to exogenous administration of nicotine or kainic acid. These observations suggest that mouse SKPs do not differentiate into mature functional neurons, at least using the published methodologies for in vitro differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 13 2006


  • Cytoskeleton
  • Dermis
  • Mouse
  • Neuron
  • Skin
  • Stem cell
  • Synapses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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