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Challenges in Modeling Human Neural Circuit Formation via Brain Organoid Technology

Abstract

Human brain organoids are three-dimensional self-organizing tissues induced from pluripotent cells that recapitulate some aspects of early development and some of the early structure of the human brain in vitro. Brain organoids consist of neural lineage cells, such as neural stem/precursor cells, neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Additionally, brain organoids contain fluid-filled ventricle-like structures surrounded by a ventricular/subventricular (VZ/SVZ) zone-like layer of neural stem cells (NSCs). These NSCs give rise to neurons, which form multiple outer layers. Since these structures resemble some aspects of structural arrangements in the developing human brain, organoid technology has attracted great interest in the research fields of human brain development and disease modeling. Developmental brain disorders have been intensely studied through the use of human brain organoids. Relatively early steps in human brain development, such as differentiation and migration, have also been studied. However, research on neural circuit formation with brain organoids has just recently began. In this review, we summarize the current challenges in studying neural circuit formation with organoids and discuss future perspectives.

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