Neurobiology Cortical neurons
Censo’s proprietary differentiation protocol generates human iPSC derived cortical neurons that display physiological characteristics and form functional neuronal networks. Our cortical neurons can be maintained over extended timescales in culture and cryopreserved at different stages of their differentiation.
At Censo, we co-culture cortical neurons with our human iPSC-derived astrocytes and microglia in order to build more complex, robust and relevant cellular models for CNS drug discovery in Alzheimer’s disease and a variety of other neurological conditions. For efficacy and toxicology screening, these assays can be custom configured and provide crucial experimental data for your discovery project.
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Using Incucyte software, neurite outgrowth can be quantified, giving a measure of neuronal health and activation which is believed to correlate with cognitive function in neurodegeneration.
Neurofilament Light Assay
Neurofilaments are proteins abundant in highly myelinated axons that provide structural support for neurons. In a healthy CNS, neurofilament light (NfL) levels measured in both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in the blood are low, indicating low levels of neuroaxonal damage. Nerve damage releases NfLs into the CSF and into the blood. Higher than normal NfL levels have been linked to multiple chronic and acute neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington disease, frontotemporal dementia, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), vascular dementia, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
NfL has been shown to precede clinical disease symptoms in many diseases. This could allow the identification and treatment of pre-symptomatic subjects. Disease-modifying therapies have already been shown to lower NfL levels with improved clinical outcome. Hence, NfL can be used as a sensitive biomarker of CNS injury, disease stage and drug effect in several neurological diseases.
Total and Phospho-Tau Assays
Tau is a microtubule-associated protein found predominantly on axons in neurons of the CNS but is also expressed at low levels in astrocytes. The function of Tau is to promote tubulin polymerization and stabilize microtubules. Tau elevation has been observed in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood of patients with neurodegenerative diseases suggesting its extracellular release during neuronal impairment.
In Alzheimer’s disease and other related CNS disorders such as frontotemporal dementia and cortico-basal degeneration, Tau is abnormally phosphorylated and aggregated into bundles of filaments. In the past decade, the hyperphosphorylated and aggregated states of Tau protein have emerged as targets in the drug discovery field for the potential treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and tauopathies.