Modeling CNS Involvement in Pompe Disease Using Neural Stem Cells Generated from Patient-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells


Pompe disease is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by autosomal recessive mutations in the acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA) gene. Acid alpha-glucosidase deficiency leads to abnormal glycogen accumulation in patient cells. Given the increasing evidence of central nervous system (CNS) involvement in classic infantile Pompe disease, we used neural stem cells, differentiated from patient induced pluripotent stem cells, to model the neuronal phenotype of Pompe disease. These Pompe neural stem cells exhibited disease-related phenotypes including glycogen accumulation, increased lysosomal staining, and secondary lipid buildup. These morphological phenotypes in patient neural stem cells provided a tool for drug efficacy evaluation. Two potential therapeutic agents, hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin and δ-tocopherol, were tested along with recombinant human acid alpha-glucosidase (rhGAA) in this cell-based Pompe model. Treatment with rhGAA reduced LysoTracker staining in Pompe neural stem cells, indicating reduced lysosome size. Additionally, treatment of diseased neural stem cells with the combination of hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin and δ-tocopherol significantly reduced the disease phenotypes. These results demonstrated patient-derived Pompe neural stem cells could be used as a model to study disease pathogenesis, to evaluate drug efficacy, and to screen compounds for drug discovery in the context of correcting CNS defects.

Authors Cheng YS, Yang S, Hong J, Li R, Beers J, Zou J, Huang W, Zheng W
Journal Cells
Publication Date 2020 Dec 22;10(1)
PubMed 33375166
PubMed Central PMC7822217
DOI 10.3390/cells10010008

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