IPS cell field update: easy culture, Parkinson’s, scarring, immune cells, & mutations

Where do things stand today in 2020 with IPS cell research? It’s been 14 years since they were first reported, but they continue to make news.

Fibrosis model IPS cells Fig 1b Vijayaraj et al Cell Reports 2019
IPS cell-based Fibrosis model development Fig 1b Vijayaraj et al Cell Reports 2019.

Back in 2006 I was wrapping up my postdoc with Bob Eisenman at The Hutch in Seattle, largely studying Myc, when Shinya Yamanaka published his first induced pluripotent stem cell (IPS cell) paper in Cell. For me it was one of those amazing moments reading a pub when you just go “wow!”

Now all these years later we can see just how much that paper has changed the stem cell and regenerative medicine field. New IPS cell developments keeping popping up and some recent ones are the subject of today’s post.

IPS cell culture jump.

Stem cells are finicky and this is even more so for pluripotent stem cells like IPS cells. This new pub from Paul Burridge on simplifying IPSC culture methods looks like a big deal. It’s entitled, “Negligible-Cost and Weekend-Free Chemically Defined Human iPSC Culture.”

IPS cells to model of Parkinson’s Disease.

Looks like a good one from Lee Rubin’s team in the journal Stem Cell Reports: “Pathogenic Pathways in Early-Onset Autosomal Recessive Parkinson’s Disease Discovered Using Isogenic Human Dopaminergic Neurons.”

IPS cell system for modelling for fibrosis and scarring, and perhaps ID anti-scarring compounds.

Cool work from a team led by Brigitte Gomperts with a load of translational implications. See Fig. 1B above.

Production of immune cells from IPS cells.

Nice paper in Nature Cell Biology on pluripotent stem cell-derived RAG1+ progenitors.

2 cells lines from CiRA with abnormalities.

From The Mainichi, we have the news “Kyoto Univ.-distributed iPS cells found with abnormalities after differentiation.” The piece begins, “Some iPS cells for regenerative medicine, distributed by a stock project at Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), showed cancer-related genetic and chromosomal abnormalities when differentiated to the target cells, several sources close to the project revealed.”

A little more detail here from another news piece and this quote from Masayo Takahashi in this article, “In deciding whether to use particular iPS-derived cells for transplantation, it is realistic to carry out experiments to confirm whether they will develop tumors after transplantation into animals and check cancer-related genes for each target cell type.” Such extra validation of IPS cells intended for clinical use is wise.

1 thought on “IPS cell field update: easy culture, Parkinson’s, scarring, immune cells, & mutations”

  1. If you set up an IPS cell line from primary cell culture, what is your total cost compared to the cost of medium they managed to optimize now?

    Other than cost saving I think the real contribution of this research is that is helps understanding extracellular signalling better. Are there such reduced culture media available for other cell types (notably primary cultures?) or everyone just conveniently uses bovine serum?

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