A study coordinated by Lorenz Studer, a NEUROSTEMCELL principal investigator, has developed a new strategy for the efficient transformation of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) into dopamine-producing neurons. The neurons can be implanted into animals where they show “robust performance” by forming new connections and achieving long-term survival. The result is a significant progress in the use of PSCs and may help to develop new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. The work is published in the journal Nature.
The degeneration of dopamine-producing (dopaminergic, in jargon) neurons is the main event behind the onset of Parkinson disease. One goal of NEUROSTEMCELL is to use PSCs to produce dopaminergic neurons that may be transplanted in patients affected by Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.