Several neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, the leukodystrophies, and traumatic injury, result in loss of myelin in the central nervous system (CNS). These disorders may benefit from cell-based therapies that prevent further demyelination or are able to restore lost myelin. One potential therapeutic strategy for these disorders is the manufacture of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) by the directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). It has been proposed that OPCs could be transplanted into demyelinated or dysmyelinated regions of the CNS, where they would migrate to the area of injury before terminally differentiating into myelinating oligodendrocytes. OPCs derived from mouse iPSCs are particularly useful for modeling this therapeutic approach and for studying the biology of oligodendrocyte progenitors because of the availability of mouse models of neurological disorders associated with myelin deficiency. Moreover, the utility of miPSC-derived OPCs would be significantly enhanced by the adoption of a consistent, reproducible differentiation protocol that allows OPCs derived from different cell lines to be robustly characterized and compared. Here we describe a standardized, defined protocol that reliably directs the differentiation of miPSCs to generate high yields of OPCs that are capable of maturing into oligodendrocytes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financially supported by a generous donation through the University of Minnesota Foundation, and the KL2 Scholar Program (A. M. Parr) from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute 5KL2TR113 (NIH:8UL1TR000114). The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
- Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
- Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs)