Published online Jul 26, 2015. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v7.i6.899
Peer-review started: December 21, 2014
First decision: February 7, 2015
Revised: February 28, 2015
Accepted: May 8, 2015
Article in press: May 11, 2015
Published online: July 26, 2015
Core tip: During stem cell neuronal differentiation, functional synaptogenesis and the emergence of coordinated, networked activity are critical behaviors in confirming that cells have developed into a relevant neuronal population. As the number of stem cell-derived neuron (SCN) models continues to proliferate, the use of specific functional readouts to evaluate SCN maturity will become increasingly important compared to morphological or proteomic characterization of neuronal maturation. The review provides diverse options for reliably assaying the development of synaptic neurotransmission in derived neurons and describes the strengths, weaknesses and potential applications of several stem cell-based neuron models.