Evaluation of TH-Cre knock-in cell lines for detection and specific targeting of stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons


The focal and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in ventral midbrain has made Parkinson's disease (PD) a particularly interesting target of cell-based therapies. However, ethical issues and limited tissue availability have so far hindered the widespread use of human fetal tissue in cell-replacement therapy. DA neurons derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) offer unprecedented opportunities to access a renewable source of cells suitable for PD therapeutic applications. To better understand the development and functional properties of stem-cell derived DA neurons, we generated targeted hPSC lines with the gene coding for Cre recombinase knocked into the TH locus. When combined with flexed GFP, they serve as reporter cell lines able to identify and isolate TH+ neurons in vitro and after transplantation in vivo. These TH-Cre lines provide a valuable genetic tool to manipulate DA neurons useful for the design of more precise DA differentiation protocols and the study of these cells after transplantation in pre-clinical animal models of PD. © 2021 The Author(s).

Authors Fiorenzano A, Birtele M, Wahlestedt JN, Parmar M
Journal Heliyon
Publication Date 2021 Jan;7(1):e06006
PubMed 33532642
PubMed Central PMC7821040
DOI 10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06006

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