Probing disorders of the nervous system using reprogramming approaches

Justin K. Ichida*, Evangelos Kiskinis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The groundbreaking technologies of induced pluripotency and lineage conversion have generated a genuine opportunity to address fundamental aspects of the diseases that affect the nervous system. These approaches have granted us unrestricted access to the brain and spinal cord of patients and have allowed for the study of disease in the context of human cells, expressing physiological levels of proteins and under each patient's unique genetic constellation. Along with this unprecedented opportunity have come significant challenges, particularly in relation to patient variability, experimental design and data interpretation. Nevertheless, significant progress has been achieved over the past few years both in our ability to create the various neural subtypes that comprise the nervous system and in our efforts to develop cellular models of disease that recapitulate clinical findings identified in patients. In this Review, we present tables listing the various human neural cell types that can be generated and the neurological disease modeling studies that have been reported, describe the current state of the field, highlight important breakthroughs and discuss the next steps and future challenges. Kiskinis & Ichida highlight recent progress in neurological disease modeling using iPSCs. The reconstitution of the three-dimensional architecture, including ageing or metabolic parameters will inform the complex nature of neurologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1456-1477
Number of pages22
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 3 2015


  • directed differentiation
  • disease modeling
  • neurologic disorder
  • neuronal development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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