2. Establishment of an MS patient-derived
iPS cell bank to develop human MS lesion models in a dish.
The effectiveness of currently available medication for especially progressive MS is limited, partly because the underlying mechanisms that drive lesion and disease progression are unclear. Studying the disease process in cells of MS patients will provide insight into cell-intrinsic processes that contribute to the disease. Using the recently developed, innovative, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology, blood-derived cells can be reprogrammed into iPS cells. These cells can then be differentiated into cells of the CNS and cultured in a MS-specific microenvironment and used to model MS in a cell culture dish, to address disease mechanisms and to facilitate screening of novel therapeutic strategies. In this project, funded by Stichting MS Research and made possible by the Vriendenloterij, we aim to establish an MS-patient-derived iPS biobank (‘MSiPS Biobank’) that consist of a unique collection of well-characterized iPS cell lines from MS patients and relevant controls. This will result in an important acceleration of the progress in developing new therapeutic agents for (progressive) MS.