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Table 2 Overview of the advantaged and disadvantages of the different in vitro models

From: Human in vitro models for understanding mechanisms of autism spectrum disorder

Reprogramed cells
 Epigenetic markersCan be used to study the effect of genetic backgroundGenetic stabilityCan be used with CrisprCan be cultured into 3D organoids
Primary neural precursor cells (pNPCs)UnknownYes (if genotyped)High [40]YesNo
Induced neurons (iN)Dependent on donor’s age (does not reset)YesHighYesNo
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)Mostly embryonic (resets during reprograming)YesLowYesYes
Embryonic stem cells (ES)EmbryonicYes (if genotyped)HighYesYes
Culture type
 Cellular heterogeneityReproducibilityCan combine different cultures/regionsCan be used to study interregional connectivityLevel of in vivo brain development modeling
2D culturesRegion-specific cell types/can be enriched for a single cell typeModerate–highYesNoLow–moderate
3D cultures—more directedRegion-specific cell typesModerate–highYesYes (when combining different protocols)Moderate–high (for a specific region)
3D cultures—less directedNon-region-specific cell typesVery lowUnknownYes, but likely hindered by variabilityUnclear