PPMI iPSC Lines — A Valuable Tool for Researchers

The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) has expanded to include the generation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from reprogrammed peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PBMCs) collected from PPMI participants. Study leadership hopes to complete 135 blood collections by the end of 2017; to date, over 50 PPMI participants have given blood samples.

Cells lines are derived from participants who have idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD), healthy volunteers, participants with clinical risk factors for PD, and participants with and without PD who have genetic risk factors for PD (GBA1, LRRK2, and SNCA mutations). This diversity of sources, and the corresponding clinical, imaging, and biosample data, make these iPSC lines an unparalleled resource for the study of PD. The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) hopes that iPSC lines and PPMI clinical data can be leveraged together for biomarker research, drug screening, and disease modeling.

“The ‘disease in a dish’ model provided by iPSCs is an asset in the development and testing of new treatments, and streamlined access to these well characterized tools will speed progress,” said Mark Frasier, PhD, MJFF Senior Vice President of Research Programs.

Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) manages the reprogramming of PBMCs into iPSCs, while the PPMI centralized repository at Indiana University manages the storage and distribution of PPMI iPSCs. These lines will become available on a rolling basis as they are reprogrammed. For more information on CDI cell line availability, please email resources@michaeljfox.org. Information about additional tools for PD research – including animal models, antibodies, and assays, can be found on the Michael J. Fox Foundation website.

The iPSC sub-study in PPMI is made possible by funding from Golub Capital, led by Lawrence and David Golub, who is also a member of the MJFF’s Board of Directors.