About this Research Topic
Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are predicted to increase as the population ages in the coming decades. Unfortunately, in part due to the lack of model systems that accurately recapitulate disease pathophysiology, current therapies for most neurodegenerative diseases target the symptoms only, and few, if any, disease-modifying strategies are available. With the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), it is now possible to generate 3D miniature versions of human organs, called ‘organoids’, consisting of organ-specific cell types that self-organize and undergo differentiation and subsequent lineage specification. For example, retinal organoids containing each of the different subtypes of retinal neurons.
Currently, the potential clinical application of tissue-specific organoids has attracted widespread attention and excitement in the research community. For instance, both retinal and brain organoids are increasingly being used to model neurodegenerative diseases and tremendous progress is already being made. With this technology, our understanding of human diseases, the underlying mechanisms and therapeutic targets are greatly expanded.
This Research Topic is intended as a collection of new techniques to culture central nervous system (CNS) organoids and highlight new findings and novel therapeutic targets regarding prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. It will focus on the use of stem cell-derived retinal and brain organoids as disease models to study pathophysiology and develop novel treatments for human neurodegenerative diseases.
Original research articles and reviews are preferred. Suggested themes include:
• Methods or protocols for the culture of stem cell-derived CNS organoids, techniques that enhance the efficiency and improve the morphology, 3D imaging and high-throughput assays of organoids.
• Studies that manipulate stem cells and use stem cell-derived retinal or CNS organoids to model neurodegenerative disease.
• Studies that discover new pathogenesis and novel therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases.
• Use of stem cell-derived retinal or CNS organoids for cell transplantation and regenerative medicine, evaluating the efficacy and safety of the treatment.
• Limitations and future prospects relating to the use of stem cell-derived retinal and CNS organoids.
Keywords: Stem cells, retinal organoids, brain/CNS/cerebral organoids, neurodegenerative diseases, disease modeling
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