Generation of disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with different karyotypes of Down syndrome

Xiaoning Mou, Yuanbo Wu, Henghua Cao, Qingzhang Meng, Qihui Wang, Chengchao Sun, Shengshou Hu, Yue Ma, Hao Zhang
Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2012, 3 (2): 14

INTRODUCTION: Down syndrome (DS), a major cause of mental retardation, is caused by trisomy of some or all of human chromosome 21 and includes three basic karyotypes: trisomy 21, translocation, and mosaicism. The derivation of DS-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provides us novel DS models that can be used to determine the DS mechanism and to devise therapeutic approaches for DS patients.

METHODS: In the present study, fibroblasts from patients with DS of various karyotypes were reprogrammed into iPSCs via the overexpression of four factors: OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC, by using lentiviral vectors. The abilities of the iPSC-DS in the self-renewal and pluripotency in vitro and in vivo were then examined.

RESULTS: The iPSC-DS showed characteristics similar to those of human embryonic stem cells, particularly the morphology, surface marker (SSEA4, TRA-1-60, and TRA-1-81) expression, pluripotent-specific transcription-factor expression levels, and methylation status of the OCT4 promoter. The pluripotency of iPSC-DS was also tested in vitro and in vivo. Embryoid bodies were formed and showed the expression of differentiated markers for three germ layers. Furthermore, iPSC-DS formed classic teratomas when injected into nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice.

CONCLUSIONS: iPSCs were generated from patients with DS. The iPSCs derived from different types of DS may be used in DS modeling, patient-care optimization, drug discovery, and eventually, autologous cell-replacement therapies.

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