Research Topic

The role of Stem Cells, Epigenetics and MicroRNAs in Parkinson's disease

About this Research Topic

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common, age-related and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1-2% of people over 65. As mean population ages and life expectancies increase globally, the incidence of PD is projected to double by 2030. Two classical hallmarks of PD are the degeneration of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons, and presence of Lewy bodies in CNS and PNS subregions. Despite decades of research our understanding of the pathophysiology and the diagnosis of PD remains limited, while no disease-modifying therapies presently exist. Current dopamine-replacement strategies and surgical interventions can provide symptomatic relief. However, these symptomatic treatments do not arrest or reverse the underlying pathology, their effectiveness wanes with time, and they typically produce disabling side effects. As such, there is an urgent clinical need to better understand and diagnose PD, and to develop novel disease-modifying therapies for PD.

A promising disease-modifying therapy involves the replacement of lost SN dopaminergic neurons with stem cell-derived replicas. Such neurons, particularly when derived from PD patients, can also be used to model and investigate the human pathology, and/or to evaluate novel therapies/drugs in PD. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that epigenetic disturbances and dysregulated microRNA expression occur in PD. Such changes may contribute to the underlying pathophysiology, and could serve as PD biomarkers or even provide novel pharmacological targets.

This Research Topic aims to publish high-quality articles covering the use of stem cells, epigenetics and/or microRNA to better understand and diagnose PD, and to ultimately advance research with the potential to produce novel intervention strategies for PD. To this end, this Research Topic will attempt to bring together researchers and research from various scientific fields. The topics we wish to cover include, but are not limited to, the following:
● Stem cell-based therapies for PD
● Use of stem cell-derived neurons to model PD
● Epigenetic and microRNA dysregulation in PD: pathological mechanisms and/or potential bi-omarkers
● Targeting epigenetic pathways or microRNAs to treat PD

Contributors are encouraged to submit articles describing novel results, models, viewpoints, perspectives and/or methodological innovations. Contributors are also asked to submit a brief abstract prior to submitting a full-length manuscript, so that the suitability of the proposed article for our Research Topic can be evaluated. We will strive to ensure that the articles of the Topic collectively present a cohesive picture of the state-of-the-art in the field, and help advance our understanding, diagnosis and treatment of PD.


Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, Stem Cells, Epigentics, MicroRNA, Therapy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common, age-related and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1-2% of people over 65. As mean population ages and life expectancies increase globally, the incidence of PD is projected to double by 2030. Two classical hallmarks of PD are the degeneration of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic neurons, and presence of Lewy bodies in CNS and PNS subregions. Despite decades of research our understanding of the pathophysiology and the diagnosis of PD remains limited, while no disease-modifying therapies presently exist. Current dopamine-replacement strategies and surgical interventions can provide symptomatic relief. However, these symptomatic treatments do not arrest or reverse the underlying pathology, their effectiveness wanes with time, and they typically produce disabling side effects. As such, there is an urgent clinical need to better understand and diagnose PD, and to develop novel disease-modifying therapies for PD.

A promising disease-modifying therapy involves the replacement of lost SN dopaminergic neurons with stem cell-derived replicas. Such neurons, particularly when derived from PD patients, can also be used to model and investigate the human pathology, and/or to evaluate novel therapies/drugs in PD. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that epigenetic disturbances and dysregulated microRNA expression occur in PD. Such changes may contribute to the underlying pathophysiology, and could serve as PD biomarkers or even provide novel pharmacological targets.

This Research Topic aims to publish high-quality articles covering the use of stem cells, epigenetics and/or microRNA to better understand and diagnose PD, and to ultimately advance research with the potential to produce novel intervention strategies for PD. To this end, this Research Topic will attempt to bring together researchers and research from various scientific fields. The topics we wish to cover include, but are not limited to, the following:
● Stem cell-based therapies for PD
● Use of stem cell-derived neurons to model PD
● Epigenetic and microRNA dysregulation in PD: pathological mechanisms and/or potential bi-omarkers
● Targeting epigenetic pathways or microRNAs to treat PD

Contributors are encouraged to submit articles describing novel results, models, viewpoints, perspectives and/or methodological innovations. Contributors are also asked to submit a brief abstract prior to submitting a full-length manuscript, so that the suitability of the proposed article for our Research Topic can be evaluated. We will strive to ensure that the articles of the Topic collectively present a cohesive picture of the state-of-the-art in the field, and help advance our understanding, diagnosis and treatment of PD.


Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, Stem Cells, Epigentics, MicroRNA, Therapy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2018 Abstract
06 July 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2018 Abstract
06 July 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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