The Breakthroughs and Caveats of Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in Modelling Alzheimer’s Disease

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


  • Fulltext

    Forlagets udgivne version, 1,48 MB, PDF-dokument

Modeling Alzheimer’s disease (AD) using human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is a field now spanning 15 years. Developments in the field have shown a shift in using simple 2D cortical neuron models to more advanced tri-cultures and 3D cerebral organoids that recapitulate more features of the disease. This is largely due to development and optimization of new cell protocols. In this review, we highlight recent major breakthroughs in the AD field and the implications this has in modeling AD using iPSCs (AD-iPSCs). To date, AD-iPSCs have been largely used to recapitulate and study impaired amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing and tau phosphorylation in both familial and sporadic AD. AD-iPSCs have also been studied for varying neuronal and glial dysfunctions. Moreover, they have been useful for discovering new molecular mechanisms, such as identifying proteins that bridge APP processing with tau phosphorylation and for identifying molecular pathways that bridge APP processing dysfunction with impaired cholesterol biosynthesis. Perhaps the greatest use of AD-iPSCs has been in discovering compounds via drug screening, that reduce amyloid beta (Aβ) in neurons, such as the anti-inflammatory compound, cromolyn, and antiparasitic drugs, avermectins. In addition, high content screening using AD-iPSCs has led to the identification of statins that can reduce levels of phosphorylated tau (p-Tau) in neurons. Some of these compounds have made it through to testing in human clinical trials. Improvements in omic technologies including single cell RNA sequencing and proteomics as well as advances in production of iPSC-cerebral organoids and tri-cultures is likely to result in the further discovery of new drugs and treatments for AD. Some caveats remain in the field, including, long experimental conditions to create mature neurons, high costs of media that limit research capabilities, and a lack of reproducibility using current iPSC-cerebral organoid protocols. Despite these current limitations, AD-iPSCs remain an excellent cellular model for studying AD mechanisms and for drug discovery.
Udgave nummer3
StatusUdgivet - 2023

Antal downloads er baseret på statistik fra Google Scholar og

Ingen data tilgængelig

ID: 334986884