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J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;67(3):893-910. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180833.

Stem Cell-Derived Neurons as Cellular Models of Sporadic Alzheimer's Disease.

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Bloomfield Center for Research in Aging, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Université Laval, Département de Psychiatrie et Neurosciences, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Université Laval, Axe neurosciences, Québec, Canada.
Centre de recherche CERVO, Québec, Canada.
Université de Montréal, Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) occurs as either an autosomal dominant inherited disease or sporadically. While familial mutant genes can be expressed in cells or in animal models to assess dysregulated functions, sporadic AD cannot be replicated in models given our lack of understanding of causality. Furthermore, the study of sporadic forms of AD is difficult given the inaccessibility of brain tissues in living individuals and the manifestation of symptoms years after the onset of disease. Here, the objective was to assess if induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from well-ascertained sporadic AD individuals could represent potential cellular models to determine the underlying molecular mechanisms of disease. We used cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells from three well-ascertained sporadic AD and three non-cognitively impaired (NCI) individuals of the CIMA-Q cohort to obtain iPSC-derived neurons. Microtubule associated protein 2 was decreased in AD neurons, whereas expression of AD-associated amyloid precursor protein, tau, and amyloid-β peptide was similar in AD and NCI individuals. RNA sequencing identified several upregulated and downregulated mRNAs in AD relative to NCI neurons. Of these, complement Factor H (CFH), signal regulatory protein beta1 (SIRPB1), and insulin like growth factor binding protein 5 (IGFBP5) were previously associated with AD. In addition, several transcription factors not previously associated with AD, but involved in neuronal proliferation and differentiation were differentially expressed. The results identify novel avenues for the study of the underlying causes of sporadic AD and support the establishment of additional lines to identify mechanisms of disease in sporadic AD individuals.


Alzheimer’s disease; cholinergic neurons; cryopreserved cell; gene expression; induced pluripotent stem cells


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