BAVARIAN RESEARCH NETWORK INDUCED PLURIPOTENT STEM CELLS
Analysis of aging-dependent cellular processes in Parkinson syndrome using novel reprogramming strategies
Field of work:Investigation of biological alterations and functional deficits in neural and glial cells
The aim of the project is the generation and validation of transgene-free induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) to analyze the idiopathic Parkinson syndrome. Based on the generated cellular models we will analyze how artificially induced premature aging affects phenotypes associated with Parkinson syndrome. Innovative reprogramming strategies will be developed and applied to reprogram patients’ skin fibroblasts into iPSCs. Moreover, fibroblasts will be directly converted into proliferative multipotent neural stem cells (iNSCs). With this we aim to provide an alternative, better standardizable supply of patient-specific neuronal cells. iNSC-derived cells harbor a limited tumorigenic potential as compared to cells derived from iPSCs. iPSCs and iNSCs will be differentiated into dopaminergic neurons and their functionality will be tested in vitro and in vivo. By inducing premature aging processes we aim at enhancing disease-specific characteristics. This will help us to analyze the cellular pathology of the Parkinson syndrome and finding new therapeutic approaches. This project will enable us to gain important insights not only into the generation of standardizable iPSC disease models but also into the relevance of aging-dependent processes during the development of abnormal cellular processes in Parkinson syndrome.