Ann Conkle
Jan 24, 2012

First step in strategy for cell replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are a promising avenue for cell replacement therapy in neurological diseases. Mouse and human iPSCs have been used to generate dopaminergic (DA) neurons that improve symptoms in rat Parkinson's disease models. Reporting in the current issue of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, a group of scientists from Japan evaluated the growth, differentiation, and function of human iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in a primate model, showing their treatment potential. The researchers monitored the cell proliferation and activity in real-time with MRI and PET imaging. The study demonstrates that dopamine synthesis, transport, and reuptake reflect DA activity in the grafted NPCs, an approach that can also be used in human patients.