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Neuroscience. 2013 Jan 3;228:47-59. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.09.076. Epub 2012 Oct 13.

Potential therapeutic applications of differentiated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

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1
School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, 5 South Zhongguancun Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100081, PR China.

Abstract

Difficulties in realizing persistent neurogenesis, inabilities in modeling pathogenesis of most cases, and a shortage of disease material for screening therapeutic agents restrict our progress to overcome challenges presented by neurodegenerative diseases. We propose that reprogramming primary somatic cells of patients into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provides a new avenue to overcome these impediments. Their abilities in self-renewal and differentiation into various cell types will enable disease investigation and drug development. In this review, we introduce efficient approaches to generate iPSCs and distinct iPSCs differentiation stages, and critically discuss paradigms of iPSCs technology application to investigate neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Huntington's disease (HD). Although iPSCs technology is in its infancy and faces many obstacles, it has great potential in helping to identify therapeutic targets for treating neurodegenerative diseases.

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