Dopamine-making neurons can be chemically controlled in animal model of Parkinson’s
The San Diego Union-Tribune – Stem cell-derived neurons transplanted into the brains of Parkinsons’ patients may be controllable by drugs after transplantation, according to research performed in a mouse model of the disease.
If the work can be translated to humans, it would allow doctors to fine-tune the transplanted neurons to the needs of individual Parkinson’s patients. However, it will take years before such a therapy can be tested in patients.
The mice received human dopamine-producing neurons. These are progressively destroyed in Parkinson’s disease, impairing movement. The replacement neurons, grown from pluripotent stem cells, were genetically engineered to alter dopamine production in response to a drug.
The study was published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell. The first author is Yuejun Chen, the senior author is Su-Chun Zhang; both of University of Wisconsin-Madison. When published online, the study can be found at http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(16)30001-7