Direct reprogramming rather than iPSC-based reprogramming maintains aging hallmarks in human motor neurons

Yu Tang, Meng Lu Liu, Tong Zang, Chun Li Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In vitro generation of motor neurons (MNs) is a promising approach for modeling motor neuron diseases (MNDs) such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As aging is a leading risk factor for the development of neurodegeneration, it is important to recapitulate age-related characteristics by using MNs at pathogenic ages. So far, cell reprogramming through induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and direct reprogramming from primary fibroblasts are two major strategies to obtain populations of MNs. While iPSC generation must go across the epigenetic landscape toward the pluripotent state, directly converted MNs might have the advantage of preserving aging-associated features from fibroblast donors. In this study, we confirmed that human iPSCs reset the aging status derived from their old donors, such as telomere attrition and cellular senescence. We then applied a set of transcription factors to induce MNs from either primary fibroblasts or iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells. The results revealed that directly reprogrammed MNs, rather than iPSC-derived MNs, maintained the aging hallmarks of old donors, including extensive DNA damage, loss of heterochromatin and nuclear organization, and increased SA-β-Gal activity. iPSC-derived MNs did not regain those aging memories from old donors. Collectively, our study indicates rejuvenation in the iPSC-based model, as well as aging maintenance in direct reprogramming of MNs. As such, the directly reprogrammed MNs may be more suitable for modeling the late-onset pathogenesis of MNDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number359
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2017

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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Motor Neurons
Motor Neuron Disease
Cell Aging
Fibroblasts
Cellular Reprogramming
Rejuvenation
Heterochromatin
Telomere
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Epigenomics
DNA Damage
Transcription Factors
Stem Cells
Maintenance

Keywords

  • Aging
  • ALS
  • Direct reprogramming
  • Human iPSC
  • Motor neuron
  • Neural progenitor cells
  • Rejuvenation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

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title = "Direct reprogramming rather than iPSC-based reprogramming maintains aging hallmarks in human motor neurons",
abstract = "In vitro generation of motor neurons (MNs) is a promising approach for modeling motor neuron diseases (MNDs) such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As aging is a leading risk factor for the development of neurodegeneration, it is important to recapitulate age-related characteristics by using MNs at pathogenic ages. So far, cell reprogramming through induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and direct reprogramming from primary fibroblasts are two major strategies to obtain populations of MNs. While iPSC generation must go across the epigenetic landscape toward the pluripotent state, directly converted MNs might have the advantage of preserving aging-associated features from fibroblast donors. In this study, we confirmed that human iPSCs reset the aging status derived from their old donors, such as telomere attrition and cellular senescence. We then applied a set of transcription factors to induce MNs from either primary fibroblasts or iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells. The results revealed that directly reprogrammed MNs, rather than iPSC-derived MNs, maintained the aging hallmarks of old donors, including extensive DNA damage, loss of heterochromatin and nuclear organization, and increased SA-β-Gal activity. iPSC-derived MNs did not regain those aging memories from old donors. Collectively, our study indicates rejuvenation in the iPSC-based model, as well as aging maintenance in direct reprogramming of MNs. As such, the directly reprogrammed MNs may be more suitable for modeling the late-onset pathogenesis of MNDs.",
keywords = "Aging, ALS, Direct reprogramming, Human iPSC, Motor neuron, Neural progenitor cells, Rejuvenation",
author = "Yu Tang and Liu, {Meng Lu} and Tong Zang and Zhang, {Chun Li}",
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AU - Tang, Yu

AU - Liu, Meng Lu

AU - Zang, Tong

AU - Zhang, Chun Li

PY - 2017/11/2

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N2 - In vitro generation of motor neurons (MNs) is a promising approach for modeling motor neuron diseases (MNDs) such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As aging is a leading risk factor for the development of neurodegeneration, it is important to recapitulate age-related characteristics by using MNs at pathogenic ages. So far, cell reprogramming through induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and direct reprogramming from primary fibroblasts are two major strategies to obtain populations of MNs. While iPSC generation must go across the epigenetic landscape toward the pluripotent state, directly converted MNs might have the advantage of preserving aging-associated features from fibroblast donors. In this study, we confirmed that human iPSCs reset the aging status derived from their old donors, such as telomere attrition and cellular senescence. We then applied a set of transcription factors to induce MNs from either primary fibroblasts or iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells. The results revealed that directly reprogrammed MNs, rather than iPSC-derived MNs, maintained the aging hallmarks of old donors, including extensive DNA damage, loss of heterochromatin and nuclear organization, and increased SA-β-Gal activity. iPSC-derived MNs did not regain those aging memories from old donors. Collectively, our study indicates rejuvenation in the iPSC-based model, as well as aging maintenance in direct reprogramming of MNs. As such, the directly reprogrammed MNs may be more suitable for modeling the late-onset pathogenesis of MNDs.

AB - In vitro generation of motor neurons (MNs) is a promising approach for modeling motor neuron diseases (MNDs) such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As aging is a leading risk factor for the development of neurodegeneration, it is important to recapitulate age-related characteristics by using MNs at pathogenic ages. So far, cell reprogramming through induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and direct reprogramming from primary fibroblasts are two major strategies to obtain populations of MNs. While iPSC generation must go across the epigenetic landscape toward the pluripotent state, directly converted MNs might have the advantage of preserving aging-associated features from fibroblast donors. In this study, we confirmed that human iPSCs reset the aging status derived from their old donors, such as telomere attrition and cellular senescence. We then applied a set of transcription factors to induce MNs from either primary fibroblasts or iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells. The results revealed that directly reprogrammed MNs, rather than iPSC-derived MNs, maintained the aging hallmarks of old donors, including extensive DNA damage, loss of heterochromatin and nuclear organization, and increased SA-β-Gal activity. iPSC-derived MNs did not regain those aging memories from old donors. Collectively, our study indicates rejuvenation in the iPSC-based model, as well as aging maintenance in direct reprogramming of MNs. As such, the directly reprogrammed MNs may be more suitable for modeling the late-onset pathogenesis of MNDs.

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