Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons to Model and Gain Insights into Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis

  • Jessica E. YoungEmail author
  • Raul Delgado-Morales


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common adult neurodegenerative disorder with the projected number of patients increasing to over 100 million in the next decades. Currently, there is no treatment that stops the progression of AD. Like other complex disorders, modeling AD in the laboratory is challenging due to inaccessibility of relevant living tissue, unknown interactions between genetics and environment, and species-specific differences between animal models and human subjects. Human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology has revolutionized the field of complex disease modeling. With this system, unique patient genetic backgrounds are captured in the dish and the cells can be directly differentiated to any cell type of an organism, including central nervous system cells affected in AD. This methodology allows for the design of genetic, molecular and biochemical experiments to decipher the complexity of AD using human neurons, or other CNS cell types, in the laboratory. Here we review current models of AD using hiPSCs, discuss advantages and disadvantages to the system, and propose future directions for this technology.


Alzheimer’s disease Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Neurons Disease Modeling Gene-editing Therapeutic screening 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Program (PEBC), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), L’Hospitalet de LlobregatBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry & NeuropsychologySchool for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNs), Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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