Cerebral tracts connect separated regions within a brain and serve as fundamental structures that support integrative brain functions. However, understanding the mechanisms of cerebral tract development, macro-circuit formation, and related disorders has been hampered by the lack of an in vitro model. Here, we developed a human stem cell-derived model of cerebral tracts, which is composed of two spheroids of cortical neurons and a robust fascicle of axons linking these spheroids reciprocally. In a microdevice, two spheroids of cerebral neurons extended axons into a microchannel between the spheroids and spontaneously formed an axon fascicle, mimicking a cerebral tract. We found that the formation of axon fascicle was significantly promoted when two spheroids extended axons toward each other compared with axons extended from only one spheroid. The two spheroids were able to communicate electrically through the axon fascicle. This model tissue could facilitate studies of cerebral tract development and diseases.
- Techniques in Neuroscience
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