Generation and Evaluation of Isogenic iPSC as a Source of Cell Replacement Therapies in Patients with Kearns Sayre Syndrome


Kearns Sayre syndrome (KSS) is mitochondrial multisystem disorder with no proven effective treatment. The underlying cause for multisystem involvement is the energy deficit resulting from the load of mutant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which manifests as loss of cells and tissue dysfunction. Therefore, functional organ or cellular replacement provides a promising avenue as a therapeutic option. Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) have become a handy tool to create personalized cell -based therapies. iPSC are capable of self-renewal, differentiation into all types of body cells including cardiomyocytes (CM) and neural progenitor cells (NPC). In KSS patients, mutations in mtDNA are largely found in the muscle tissue and are predominantly absent in the blood cells. Therefore, we conceptualized that peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) from KSS patients can be reprogrammed to generate mutation free, patient specific iPSC lines that can be used as isogenic source of cell replacement therapies to treat affected organs. In the current study we generated iPSC lines from two female patients with clinical diagnosis of classic KSS. Our data demonstrate that iPSC from these KSS patients showed normal differentiation potential toward CM, NPC and fibroblasts without any mtDNA deletions over passages. Next, we also found that functional studies including ATP production, reactive oxygen species generation, lactate accumulation and mitochondrial membrane potential in iPSC, CM, NPC and fibroblasts of these KSS patients were not different from respective cells from healthy controls. PBMNCs from these KSS patients in the current study did not reproduce mtDNA mutations which were present in muscle biopsies. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that this phenomenon provides opportunities to create isogenic mutation free iPSC with absent or very low level of expression of mtDNA deletion which can be banked for future cell replacement therapies in these patients as the disease progresses.

Authors Lester Sequiera G, Srivastava A, Alagarsamy KN, Rockman-Greenberg C, Dhingra S
Journal Cells
Publication Date 2021 Mar 5;10(3)
PubMed 33807701
PubMed Central PMC7998189
DOI 10.3390/cells10030568

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