J Vet Sci.  2021 Jan;22(1):e7. 10.4142/jvs.2021.22.e7.

Induced neural stem cells from human patient-derived fibroblasts attenuate neurodegeneration in Niemann-Pick type C mice

  • 1Adult Stem Cell Research Center and Research Institute for Veterinary Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
  • 2Animal Research and Molecular Imaging Center, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul 06351, Korea


Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is caused by the mutation of NPC genes, which leads to the abnormal accumulation of unesterified cholesterol and glycolipids in lysosomes. This autosomal recessive disease is characterized by liver dysfunction, hepatosplenomegaly, and progressive neurodegeneration. Recently, the application of induced neural stem cells (iNSCs), converted from fibroblasts using specific transcription factors, to repair degenerated lesions has been considered a novel therapy.
The therapeutic effects on NPC by human iNSCs generated by our research group have not yet been studied in vivo; in this study, we investigate those effects.
We used an NPC mouse model to efficiently evaluate the therapeutic effect of iNSCs, because neurodegeneration progress is rapid in NPC. In addition, application of human iNSCs from NPC patient-derived fibroblasts in an NPC model in vivo can give insight into the clinical usefulness of iNSC treatment. The iNSCs, generated from NPC patientderived fibroblasts using the SOX2 and HMGA2 reprogramming factors, were transplanted by intracerebral injection into NPC mice.
Transplantation of iNSCs showed positive results in survival and body weight change in vivo. Additionally, iNSC-treated mice showed improved learning and memory in behavior test results. Furthermore, through magnetic resonance imaging and histopathological assessments, we observed delayed neurodegeneration in NPC mouse brains.
iNSCs converted from patient-derived fibroblasts can become another choice of treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as NPC.


Neural stem cells; cell transplantation; Niemann-Pick disease type C; neurodegenerative diseases
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