“Neural Progenitors Derived From Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Survive and Differentiate Upon Transplantation into a Rat Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis”
From Stem Cells Translational Medicine
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which ultimately leads to death by failure of the respiratory muscles at 3–5 years post-diagnosis (Mitchell and Borasio). Currently, there are no effective treatments or preventive strategies in humans although stem-cell-based therapies may represent a possible solution. However studies which evaluated bone marrow-derived-human mesenchymal stem cells and human umbilical cord blood cells showed little or no therapeutic benefit (Lindvall and Kokaia). Additionally, while studies have described the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from ALS patients and their differentiation into motor neurons for ALS disease modeling (Bilican et al, Dimos et al, Egawa et al and Mitne-Neto et al), there has been no description of their fate after transplantation. To this end, researchers from the laboratory of Delphine Bohl (Institut Pasteur, Paris, France) and Roland Pochet (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium) have studied the intraparenchymal transplantation of human iPSC-derived neural progenitors (iPSC-NPs) into an ALS environment and report their successful differentiation into human mature neurons, some having motoneuronal morphologies, in the grey matter of the brain (Popescu et al).