Welcome to our MaxWell Monthly Must-Reads blog for 2022. A new year also means new publications to highlight and new topics to discover. This year as well, for our monthly must-reads, we will choose a theme per month and select five papers that we think are worth reading. Last year we covered a range of topics and in our first edition of 2022, we have decided to focus on Retinal Organoids.

Human brain organoids assemble functionally integrated bilateral optic vesicles.
by Gabriel, E., Albanna, W., Pasquini, G., Ramani, A., Josipovic, N., Mariappan, A., Schinzel, F., Karch, C.M., Bao, G., Gottardo, M., Suren, A.A., Hescheler, J., Nagel-Wolfrum, K., Persico, V., Rizzoli, S.O., Altmüller, J., Riparbelli, M.G., Callaini, G., Goureau, O., Papantonis, A., Busskamp, V., Schneider, T., Gopalakrishnan, J., Cell Stem Cell 28. August 2021.

Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology enabled the generation of human brain organoids, which are used to study human neurodevelopment and brain disease, in vitro. Current protocols to generate human brain organoids did not allow the development of functionally integrated optic vesicles within single brain organoid and the related inter-organ interactions. Gabriel et al. provided a modified protocol to generate human brain organoids in 60 days, including bilateral optic vesicles, containing corneal epithelial cells, retinal pigment epithelia, retinal progenitor cells and functional neuronal circuits. Gabriel et al. characterized the functionality and electrical activity of neurons by electroretinogram (ERG) and whole cell patch clamp. The optic vesicles generated by the protocol published by Gabriel et al. have a potential high impact in translational medicine due to the possibility to generate human retinal pigment epithelia for stem cell based therapies or for modeling human eye disease in vitro, in order to find new cures to restore vision.

Read the paper here.

Although we decided to highlight the article by Gabriel E. et al., we selected four scientific articles that delve into the topic of retinal organoids:

  1. Reproducibility and staging of 3D human retinal organoids across multiple pluripotent stem cell lines.
    by  Edwards, K.L., Jager, L.D., Barlow, K., Valiauga, R., Erlichman, Z., Hagstrom, A., Sinha, D., Sluch, V.M., Chamling, X., Zack, D.J., Skala, M.C., Gamm, D.M., Development. January 2019.
    Read the paper here.
  2. Optogenetic Light Sensors in Human Retinal Organoids.
    by Garita-Hernandez, M., Guibbal, L., Toualbi, L., Routet, F., Chaffiol, A., Winckler, C., Harinquet, M., Robert, C., Fouquet, S., Bellow, S., Sahel, J.-A., Goureau, O., Duebel, J., Dalkara, D., Front. Neurosci. 12. November 2018.
    Read the paper here.
  3. Generation, transcriptome profiling, and functional validation of cone-rich human retinal organoids.
    by Kim, S., Lowe, A., Dharmat, R., Lee, S., Owen, L.A., Wang, J., Shakoor, A., Li, Y., Morgan, D.J., Hejazi, A.A., Cvekl, A., DeAngelis, M.M., Zhou, Z.J., Chen, R., Liu, W.,.
    . May 2019.
    Read the paper here. 
  4. Retinal Organoids: Cultivation, Differentiation, and Transplantation.
    by Li, X., Zhang, L., Tang, F., Wei, X. Front. Cell. Neurosci. June 2021.
    Read the paper here.