Neuronal differentiation of NTE-deficient embryonic stem cells

Zhongyou Li, Paul F. Szurek, Chuantao Jiang, Annie Pao, Brian Bundy, Weidong Le, Allan Bradley, Y. Eugene Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Organophosphates induce neurological disorders. One of the enzymes inhibited by these compounds is neuropathy target esterase (NTE). In vitro, inhibition of NTE activity by organophosphates is correlated with inhibition of neurite initiation and reduction of neurite length, supporting the hypothesis that organophosphate-induced neurological disorders are caused by inhibition of NTE activity. However, there is no direct evidence for the involvement of NTE in organophosphate-induced impairment of neurites in vitro. To examine the role of NTE, we have generated NTE-deficient mouse embryonic stem cells. These cells can differentiate into neuron-like cells. Although NTE-deficient cells exhibited a delay in neurite initiation in vitro, both the proportion of neuron-like cells which initiated neurites and the elongation of these neurites occurred at the normal rate. These results demonstrate that NTE activity is not required for neurite initiation or elongation per se, but is essential for the optimal rate of neurite initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1103-1109
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 20 2005


  • Embryonic stem cells
  • In vitro differentiation
  • Neurite initiation/elongation
  • Neuropathy target esterase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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