A team around PEI Gang at Shanghai’s CAS Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology found that human fibroblasts can be directly converted into neuronal cells by a chemical cocktail of seven small molecules. The chemical-induced neuronal cells (hciNs) were similar to hiPSC-derived neurons and TF-iNs with respect to morphology, gene expression profiles, and electrophysiological properties. The protocol was successfully applied to generate Alzheimer’s disease patient fibroblast derived neuronal cells for disease modeling.

CAS news release, August 7, 2015