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Ann Neurol. 2012 Aug;72(2):167-74. doi: 10.1002/ana.23596.

Accelerating progress in induced pluripotent stem cell research for neurological diseases.

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Departments of Neurology, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.


In 2006, Yamanaka's group pioneered a method for reprogramming somatic cells by introducing definite transcription factors, which enabled the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with pluripotency comparable to that of embryonic stem cells. These iPSCs are attracting considerable attention for their potential in rejection-tolerance personalized replacement therapy. In recent years, patient-derived iPSCs have been used to recapitulate the phenotypes of neurological diseases and broaden our understanding of the pathogenesis of many neurological diseases, including those of late onset. It is now expected that iPSCs will serve as an unlimited source of disease-specific neural cells for use in disease modeling. This review outlines current progress in neurodegenerative disease research involving iPSCs and discusses the potential roles iPSCs may play in helping researchers elucidate the pathological processes of neurodegenerative diseases and in drug discovery and regenerative medicine.

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