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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4126214, 6 pages
Review Article

The Progress of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells as Models of Parkinson’s Disease

Ji-feng Kang,1 Bei-sha Tang,1,2,3,4 and Ji-feng Guo1,2,3,4

1Department of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China
2State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China
3Key Laboratory of Hunan Province in Neurodegenerative Disorders, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China
4Neurodegenerative Disorders Research Center, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China

Received 19 August 2015; Accepted 29 October 2015

Academic Editor: Yujing Li

Copyright © 2016 Ji-feng Kang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In recent years, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were widely used for investigating the mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Somatic cells from patients with SNCA (α-synuclein), LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2), PINK1 (PTEN induced putative kinase 1), Parkin mutations, and at-risk individuals carrying GBA (β-glucocerebrosidase) mutations have been successfully induced to iPSCs and subsequently differentiated into dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Importantly, some PD-related cell phenotypes, including α-synuclein aggregation, mitophagy, damaged mitochondrial DNA, and mitochondrial dysfunction, have been described in these iPSCs models, which further investigated the pathogenesis of PD. In 2007, Takahashi et al. and Vodyanik et al. generated iPSCs from human somatic cells for the first time. Since then, patients derived iPSCs were applied for disease modeling, drug discovery and screening, autologous cell replacement therapy, and other biological applications. iPSC research has now become a hot topic in a wide range of fields. This review summarizes the recent progress of PD patients derived iPSC models in pathogenic mechanism investigation and potential clinical applications, especially their promising strategy in pharmacological study and DA neurons transplantation therapy. However, the challenges of iPSC transplantation still exist, and it has a long way to go before it can be used in clinical application.