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In International journal of molecular sciences ; h5-index 102.0

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of striatal-projecting dopaminergic neurons of the ventral forebrain, resulting in motor and cognitive deficits. Despite extensive efforts in understanding PD pathogenesis, no disease-modifying drugs exist. Recent advances in cell reprogramming technologies have facilitated the generation of patient-derived models for sporadic or familial PD and the identification of early, potentially triggering, pathological phenotypes while they provide amenable systems for drug discovery. Emerging developments highlight the enhanced potential of using more sophisticated cellular systems, including neuronal and glial co-cultures as well as three-dimensional systems that better simulate the human pathophysiology. In combination with high-throughput high-content screening technologies, these approaches open new perspectives for the identification of disease-modifying compounds. In this review, we discuss current advances and the challenges ahead in the use of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells for drug discovery in PD. We address new concepts implicating non-neuronal cells in disease pathogenesis and highlight the necessity for functional assays, such as calcium imaging and multi-electrode array recordings, to predict drug efficacy. Finally, we argue that artificial intelligence technologies will be pivotal for analysis of the large and complex data sets obtained, becoming game-changers in the process of drug discovery.

Kouroupi Georgia, Antoniou Nasia, Prodromidou Kanella, Taoufik Era, Matsas Rebecca


brain organoids, chemical libraries, disease phenotypes, disease-modifying drugs, hiPSC-based co-culture systems, hiPSC-derived neurons, high-content screening