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Publications in Fibroblasts by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

Published in

June 25, 2020

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra1. Similar to other major neurodegenerative disorders, there are no disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson’s disease. While most treatment strategies aim to prevent neuronal loss or protect vulnerable neuronal circuits, a potential alternative is to replace lost neurons to reconstruct disrupted circuits2. Here we report an efficient one-step conversion of isolated mouse and human astrocytes to functional neurons by depleting the RNA-binding protein PTB (also known as PTBP1). Applying this approach to the mouse brain, we demonstrate progressive conversion of astrocytes to new neurons that innervate into and repopulate endogenous neural circuits. Astrocytes from different brain regions are converted to different neuronal subtypes. Using a chemically induced model of Parkinson’s disease in mouse, we show conversion of midbrain astrocytes to dopaminergic neurons, which provide axons to reconstruct the nigrostriatal circuit. Notably, re-innervation of striatum is accompanied by restoration of dopamine levels and rescue of motor deficits. A similar reversal of disease phenotype is also accomplished by converting astrocytes to neurons using antisense oligonucleotides to transiently suppress PTB. These findings identify a potentially powerful and clinically feasible approach to treating neurodegeneration by replacing lost neurons.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Neurology & Neurosurgery

NOMIS Researcher(s)

Published in

March 7, 2013

Finding a cure for cardiovascular disease remains a major unmet medical need. Recent investigations have started to unveil the mechanisms of mammalian heart regeneration. The study of the regenerative mechanisms in lower vertebrate and mammalian animal models has provided clues for the experimental activation of proregenerative responses in the heart. In parallel, the use of endogenous adult stem cell populations alongside the recent application of reprogramming technologies has created major expectations for the development of therapies targeting heart disease. Together, these new approaches are bringing us closer to more successful strategies for the treatment of heart disease. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Biomedical Research, Developmental Biology