Take the shortcut – direct conversion of somatic cells into induced neural stem cells and their biomedical applications.

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central Related Articles

Take the shortcut – direct conversion of somatic cells into induced neural stem cells and their biomedical applications.

FEBS Lett. 2019 12;593(23):3353-3369

Authors: Erharter A, Rizzi S, Mertens J, Edenhofer F

Abstract
Second-generation reprogramming of somatic cells directly into the cell type of interest avoids induction of pluripotency and subsequent cumbersome differentiation procedures. Several recent studies have reported direct conversion of human somatic cells into stably proliferating induced neural stem cells (iNSCs). Importantly, iNSCs are easier, faster, and more cost-efficient to generate than induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and also have a higher level of clinical safety. Stably, self-renewing iNSCs can be derived from different cellular sources, such as skin fibroblasts and peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and readily differentiate into neuronal and glial lineages that are indistinguishable from their iPSC-derived counterparts or from NSCs isolated from primary tissues. This review focuses on the derivation and characterization of iNSCs and their biomedical applications. We first outline different approaches to generate iNSCs and then discuss the underlying molecular mechanisms. Finally, we summarize the preclinical validation of iNSCs to highlight that these cells are promising targets for disease modeling, autologous cell therapy, and precision medicine.

PMID: 31663609 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]