Aging

Skin cell–derived neurons act their age

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Science  30 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6260, pp. 525-526
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6260.525-c

The main risk factor for neurodegenerative disorders is aging. To better understand cellular aging, scientists seek to model it using human neurons in tissue culture. Given the difficulty of obtaining neurons directly from human donors, scientists can derive them from either induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or by directly inducing them from another cell type. Mertens et al. compared the gene signatures of neurons obtained by these two methods and found that although the iPSC-derived neurons erased their signatures of aging, the induced neurons retained their original aged characteristics. Thus, directly converted induced neurons could provide a key resource for modeling neuronal aging.

Cell Stem Cell 10.1016/j.stem.2015.09.001 (2015).

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