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iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) are the newest tool used to model PD (Parkinson's disease). Fibroblasts from patients carrying pathogenic mutations that lead to PD have been reprogrammed into iPSCs, which can subsequently be differentiated into important cell types. Given the characteristic loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of PD patients, iPSC-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons have been generated to investigate pathogenic mechanisms in this important cell type as a means of modelling PD. iPSC-derived cultures studied so far have been made from patients carrying mutations in LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2), PINK1 [PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10)-induced putative kinase 1], PARK2 (encodes parkin) or GBA (β-glucocerebrosidase), in addition to those with SNCA (α-synuclein) multiplication and idiopathic PD. In some cases, isogenic control lines have been created to minimize inherent variability between lines from different individuals. Disruptions in autophagy, mitochondrial function and dopamine biology at the synapse have been described. Future applications for iPSC-derived models of PD beyond modelling include drug testing and the ability to investigate the genetic diversity of PD.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem Soc Trans

Publication Date





1503 - 1508


Animals, Dopaminergic Neurons, Humans, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Models, Biological, Parkinson Disease