Gene Expression Studies on Human Trisomy 21 iPSCs and Neurons: Towards Mechanisms Underlying Down's Syndrome and Early Alzheimer's Disease-Like Pathologies.
The cause of Alzheimer disease (AD) is not well understood and there is no cure. Our ability to understand the early events in the course of AD is severely limited by the difficulty of identifying individuals who are in the early, preclinical stage of this disease. Most individuals with Down's syndrome (DS, trisomy 21) will predictably develop AD and that they will do so at a young age makes them an ideal population in which to study the early stages of AD. Several recent studies have exploited induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from individuals with familial AD, spontaneous AD and DS to attempt to identify early events and discover novel biomarkers of disease progression in AD. Here, we summarize the progress and limitations of these iPSC studies with a focus on iPSC-derived neurons. Further, we outline the methodology and results for comparing gene expression between AD and DS iPSC-derived neurons. We highlight differences and commonalities in these data that may implicate underlying genes and pathways that are causative for AD.
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