hiPSC-microglia: Essential to Neurodegenerative Disease Drug Development
Microglia are core components of the central nervous system’s innate immune system, and also participate in neurodevelopment. Currently, there are virtually no standardized in vitro assay systems that represent human microglia. While primary human microglia are available in limited supply, they “de-differentiate” away from the microglial phenotype as soon as they are cultured, further reducing their suitability for research use.
Vala’s studies demonstrate nurturing effects from microglia co-cultured with neurons (increased neurites, and modulation of neuronal calcium responses to neurotoxic stimuli) supporting the neuroprotective hypothesis, and strongly suggesting that the mixed model will be more predictive of human outcomes.