Development of Microglia Replacement Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are derived from adult cells such as skin and blood cells that have been reprogrammed back into an embryonic-like pluripotent state. Since iPSCs have the same properties as embryonic stem cells, they self-renew and can differentiate into all cell types of the body. Therefore, patient-specific iPSCs may become a renewable source of cell therapy with the little concern of immune rejection. The goal of the proposed research is to develop a novel cell therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD) effectively and efficiently using iPSC technologies. AD is the most common cause of dementia in the US and poses a large economic as well as social burden on families and society. Currently, there is no cure for AD. Microglia are the brain resident myeloid cells that play important roles in the initiation and progression of AD. In the current proposal, we will transplant genetically-modified iPSC-derived microglia to the brain of a mouse model of AD and then evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of iPSC-derived microglia on AD. The outcome of our research proposal will provide a novel therapeutic strategy for AD.