John T Dimos, Kit T Rodolfa, Kathy K Niakan, Laurin M Weisenthal, Hiroshi Mitsumoto, Wendy Chung, Gist F Croft, Genevieve Saphier, Rudy Leibel, Robin Goland, Hynek Wichterle, Christopher E Henderson, Kevin Eggan
The generation of pluripotent stem cells from an individual patient would enable the large-scale production of the cell types affected by that patient's disease. These cells could in turn be used for disease modeling, drug discovery, and eventually autologous cell replacement therapies. Although recent studies have demonstrated the reprogramming of human fibroblasts to a pluripotent state, it remains unclear whether these induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be produced directly from elderly patients with chronic disease. We have generated iPS cells from an 82-year-old woman diagnosed with a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These patient-specific iPS cells possess properties of embryonic stem cells and were successfully directed to differentiate into motor neurons, the cell type destroyed in ALS.
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