Human stem cell models of polyglutamine diseases: Sources for disease models and cell therapy


Polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases are a group of neurodegenerative disorders involving expanded CAG repeats in pathogenic genes that are translated into extended polyQ tracts and lead to progressive neuronal degeneration in the affected brain. To date, there is no effective therapy for these diseases. Due to the complex pathologic mechanisms of these diseases, intensive research on the pathogenesis of their progression and potential treatment strategies is being conducted. However, animal models cannot recapitulate all aspects of neuronal degeneration. Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and embryonic stem cells (ESCs), can be used to study the pathological mechanisms of polyQ diseases, and the ability of autologous stem cell transplantation to treat these diseases. Differentiated PSCs, neuronal precursor cells/neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are valuable resources for preclinical and clinical cell transplantation therapies. Here, we discuss diverse stem cell models and their ability to generate neurons involved in polyQ diseases, such as medium spiny neurons (MSNs), cortical neurons, cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) and motor neurons. In addition, we discuss potential therapeutic approaches, including stem cell replacement therapy and gene therapy. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Authors He L, Chen Z, Peng L, Tang B, Jiang H
Journal Experimental neurology
Publication Date 2021 Mar;337:113573
PubMed 33347831
DOI 10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113573

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