Combining physical & cognitive training with iPSC-derived dopaminergic neuron transplantation promotes graft integration & better functional outcome in parkinsonian marmosets

Etienne W. Daadi, Elyas S. Daadi, Thomas Oh, Mingfeng Li, Jeffrey Kim, Marcel M. Daadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a relentlessly progressive and currently incurable neurodegenerative disease with significant unmet medical needs. Since PD stems from the degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons in a defined brain location, PD patients are considered optimal candidates for cell replacement therapy. Clinical trials for cell transplantation in PD are beginning to re-emerge worldwide with a new focus on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as a source of DA neurons since they can be derived from adult somatic cells and produced in large quantities under current good manufacturing practices. However, for this therapeutic strategy to be realized as a viable clinical option, fundamental translational challenges need to be addressed including the manufacturing process, purity and efficacy of the cells, the method of delivery, the extent of host reinnervation and the impact of patient-centered adjunctive interventions. In this study we report on the impact of physical and cognitive training (PCT) on functional recovery in the nonhuman primate (NHP) model of PD after cell transplantation. We observed that at 6 months post-transplant, the PCT group returned to normal baseline in their daily activity measured by actigraphy, significantly improved in their sensorimotor and cognitive tasks, and showed enhanced synapse formation between grafted cells and host cells. We also describe a robust, simple, efficient, scalable, and cost-effective manufacturing process of engraftable DA neurons derived from iPSCs. This study suggests that integrating PCT with cell transplantation therapy could promote optimal graft functional integration and better outcome for patients with PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114694
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume374
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cell replacement therapy
  • Cognitive training
  • Differentiation of dopaminergic neurons
  • Exercise
  • Marmosets
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Nonhuman primate
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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