Conversion of Human Fibroblasts into Induced Neural Stem Cells by Small Molecules

Donghui Liu, Grigori Rychkov, Plinio Hurtado, Hai Yun Luo, Tao Zhang, Larisa Bobrovskaya, Xin Fu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) reprogrammed from somatic cells hold great potentials for drug discovery, disease modelling and the treatment of neurological diseases. Although studies have shown that human somatic cells can be converted into iNSCs by introducing transcription factors, these iNSCs are unlikely to be used for clinical application due to the safety concern of using exogenous genes and viral transduction vectors. Here, we report the successful conversion of human fibroblasts into iNSCs using a cocktail of small molecules. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that these human iNSCs (hiNSCs) have similar gene expression profiles to bona fide NSCs, can proliferate, and are capable of differentiating into glial cells and functional neurons. This study collectively describes a novel approach based on small molecules to produce hiNSCs from human fibroblasts, which may be useful for both research and therapeutic purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1740
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Feb 2022


  • Human fibroblasts
  • Induced neuron stem cells
  • Small molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this