Article

Direct conversion of mouse fibroblasts to self-renewing, tripotent neural precursor cells.

Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 02/2012; 109(7):2527-32. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1121003109
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We recently showed that defined sets of transcription factors are sufficient to convert mouse and human fibroblasts directly into cells resembling functional neurons, referred to as "induced neuronal" (iN) cells. For some applications however, it would be desirable to convert fibroblasts into proliferative neural precursor cells (NPCs) instead of neurons. We hypothesized that NPC-like cells may be induced using the same principal approach used for generating iN cells. Toward this goal, we infected mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from Sox2-EGFP mice with a set of 11 transcription factors highly expressed in NPCs. Twenty-four days after transgene induction, Sox2-EGFP(+) colonies emerged that expressed NPC-specific genes and differentiated into neuronal and astrocytic cells. Using stepwise elimination, we found that Sox2 and FoxG1 are capable of generating clonal self-renewing, bipotent induced NPCs that gave rise to astrocytes and functional neurons. When we added the Pou and Homeobox domain-containing transcription factor Brn2 to Sox2 and FoxG1, we were able to induce tripotent NPCs that could be differentiated not only into neurons and astrocytes but also into oligodendrocytes. The transcription factors FoxG1 and Brn2 alone also were capable of inducing NPC-like cells; however, these cells generated less mature neurons, although they did produce astrocytes and even oligodendrocytes capable of integration into dysmyelinated Shiverer brain. Our data demonstrate that direct lineage reprogramming using target cell-type-specific transcription factors can be used to induce NPC-like cells that potentially could be used for autologous cell transplantation-based therapies in the brain or spinal cord.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
151 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the central nervous system, cholinergic and dopaminergic (DA) neurons are among the cells most susceptible to the deleterious effects of age. Thus, the basal forebrain cholinergic system is known to undergo moderate neurodegenerative changes during normal aging as well as severe atrophy in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Parkinson's disease (PD), a degeneration of nigro-striatal DA neurons is the most conspicuous reflection of the vulnerability of DA neurons to age. In this context, cell reprogramming offers novel therapeutic possibilities for the treatment of these devastating diseases. In effect, the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from somatic cells demonstrated that adult mammalian cells can be reprogrammed to a pluripotent state by the overexpression of a few embryonic transcription factors (TF). This discovery fundamentally widened the research horizon in the fields of disease modeling and regenerative medicine. Although it is possible to re-differentiate iPSCs to specific somatic cell types, the tumorigenic potential of contaminating iPSCs that failed to differentiate, increases the risk for clinical application of somatic cells generated by this procedure. Therefore, reprogramming approaches that bypass the pluripotent stem cell state are being explored. A method called lineage reprogramming has been recently documented. It consists of the direct conversion of one adult cell type into another by transgenic expression of multiple lineage-specific TF or microRNAs. Another approach, termed direct reprogramming, features several advantages such as the use of universal TF system and the ability to generate a rejuvenated multipotent progenitor cell population, able to differentiate into specific cell types in response to a specific differentiation factors. These novel approaches offer a new promise for the treatment of pathologies associated with the loss of specific cell types as for instance, nigral DA neurons (in PD) or basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in the early stages of AD. The above topics are reviewed here.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Underlying cognitive declines in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are the result of neuron and neuronal process losses due to a wide range of factors. To date, all efforts to develop therapies that target specific AD-related pathways have failed in late-stage human trials. As a result, an emerging consensus in the field is that treatment of AD patients with currently available drug candidates might come too late, likely as a result of significant neuronal loss in the brain. In this regard, cell-replacement therapies, such as human embryonic stem cell- or induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural cells, hold potential for treating AD patients. With the advent of stem cell technologies and the ability to transform these cells into different types of central nervous system neurons and glial cells, some success in stem cell therapy has been reported in animal models of AD. However, many more steps remain before stem cell therapies will be clinically feasible for AD and related disorders in humans. In this review, we will discuss current research advances in AD pathogenesis and stem cell technologies; additionally, the potential challenges and strategies for using cell-based therapies for AD and related disorders will be discussed.
    Experimental and Molecular Medicine 47:e151. DOI:10.1038/emm.2014.124 · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The greatest challenge to successful treatment of spinal cord injury is the limited regenerative capacity of the central nervous system and its inability to replace lost neurons and severed axons following injury. Neural stem cell grafts derived from fetal central nervous system tissue or embryonic stem cells have shown therapeutic promise by differentiation into neurons and glia that have the potential to form functional neuronal relays across injured spinal cord segments. However, implementation of fetal-derived or embryonic stem cell-derived neural stem cell therapies for patients with spinal cord injury raises ethical concerns. Induced pluripotent stem cells can be generated from adult somatic cells and differentiated into neural stem cells suitable for therapeutic use, thereby providing an ethical source of implantable cells that can be made in an autologous fashion to avoid problems of immune rejection. This review discusses the therapeutic potential of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cell transplantation for treatment of spinal cord injury, as well as addressing potential mechanisms, future perspectives and challenges.
    Neural Regeneration Research 01/2015; 10(1). DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.150638 · 0.23 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
39 Downloads
Available from
May 28, 2014