Discovery of Candidate Compound as Potential Treatment for Parkinson's Disease Using iPS Cells ―Opening the Way to Establishing New Techniques for Developing Treatments for Neurological Diseases―
October 19, 2018
Keio University School of Medicine
Eisai Co., Ltd.
A joint research group centered around Professor Hideyuki Okano and Associate Professor Jun Kohyama, Department of Physiology of the Keio University School of Medicine, together with a research group of Eisai Co., Ltd (CEO: Haruo Naito, "Eisai") has identified a compound that has the potential to be a treatment for Parkinson's disease by using dopaminergic neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from patients with familial Parkinson's disease.
Aiming to develop treatments for Parkinson's disease, this research group utilized neural progenitor cells induced from iPS cells derived from patients with familial Parkinson's disease and established a differentiation protocol for the stable supply of a large number of dopaminergic neurons. Furthermore, the research group screened an existing drug library as an indicator of susceptibility to stress observed in dopaminergic neurons derived from Parkinson's disease patients, and identified compounds that inhibit calcium channels. Further detailed analysis conducted by the research group revealed higher expression of T-type calcium channels in dopaminergic neurons derived from PARK2 patients. It was also found that apoptosis of dopaminergic neurons derived from Parkinson's disease patients could be reduced by inhibiting calcium influx via T-type calcium channels.
From these results, it is suggested that combining disease specific iPS cells and existing drug library has potential for both the development of treatments and clarification of disease pathology.
The results of this research was published in the online version of Stem Cell Reports at 12:00 noon on October 18, 2018 (EST).
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