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Reinnervate’s ec23® shown to enhance neuronal differentiation of human fetal neuroprogenitors and human embryonic stem cells

The potency of Reinnervate’s ec23® to enhance neuronal differentiation when added to cell culture growth media has been demonstrated in a paper accepted for publication in the next issue of Journal of Neuroscience Methods.1

ec23®, which is available worldwide from several leading life science product distributors, is a synthetic retinoid-based on all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). ATRA is well known for its ability to support the growth and differentiation of neural cells in culture, but as with other naturally occurring retinoids, it is unstable and isomerizes and degrades readily when exposed to light, which can result in cell culture heterogeneity and lack of reproducibility. ec23® has previously been shown to be a chemically and light-stable alternative to ATRA that has similar biological activity and does not degrade.

In the latest published study, the effect of adding either ATRA or ec23® to cell culture growth media on the differentiation of human fetal neuro-progenitor cells and embryonic stem cells was investigated. It was shown that both ATRA and ec23® can significantly enhance the neuronal differentiation of both cell types. ec23® was found to be particularly potent resulting in significantly greater neurogenesis than ATRA at lower nanomolar concentrations and with the added benefit of compound stability and reproducibility.


1. Christie, V. et al. Retinoid supplementation of differentiating human neural progenitors and embryonic stem cells leads to enhanced neurogenesis in vitro. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 2010 Sep 8.


(1.) ec23 is now included in REPROCELL’s Stemgent Stemolecule range of small molecules and is available for purchase from REPROCELL at:

(2.) Reinnervate Ltd (County Durham, England) was acquired by REPROCELL Inc (Yokohama, Japan) in August 2014. Biopta Ltd (Glasgow, Scotland) was acquired by REPROCELL in November 2015. REPROCELL Europe Ltd was established by merging Reinnervate and Biopta in June 2016.

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