Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The human brain is a complex, three-dimensional structure. To better recapitulate brain complexity, recent efforts have focused on the development of human-specific midbrain organoids. Human iPSC-derived midbrain organoids consist of differentiated and functional neurons, which contain active synapses, as well as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. However, the absence of microglia, with their ability to remodel neuronal networks and phagocytose apoptotic cells and debris, represents a major disadvantage for the current midbrain organoid systems. Additionally, neuroinflammation-related disease modeling is not possible in the absence of microglia. So far, no studies about the effects of human iPSC-derived microglia on midbrain organoid neural cells have been published. Here we describe an approach to derive microglia from human iPSCs and integrate them into iPSC-derived midbrain organoids. Using single nuclear RNA Sequencing, we provide a detailed characterization of microglia in midbrain organoids as well as the influence of their presence on the other cells of the organoids. Furthermore, we describe the effects that microglia have on cell death and oxidative stress-related gene expression. Finally, we show that microglia in midbrain organoids affect synaptic remodeling and increase neuronal excitability. Altogether, we show a more suitable system to further investigate brain development, as well as neurodegenerative diseases and neuroinflammation.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



3D models, brain organoids, iPSC, inflammation, microglia