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The Use of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Testing Neuroprotective Activity of Pharmacological Compounds

E. V. Novosadova1,a*, E. L. Arsenyeva1, S. A. Antonov1, Y. N. Vanyushina1, T. V. Malova1, A. A. Komissarov1, S. N. Illarioshkin2, L. G. Khaspekov2, L. A. Andreeva1, N. F. Myasoedov1, V. Z. Tarantul1, and I. A. Grivennikov1,b*

1Institute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 123182 Moscow, Russia

2Research Center of Neurology, 125367 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received June 20, 2019; Revised July 23, 2019; Accepted August 6, 2019
Development of therapeutic preparations involves several steps, starting with the synthesis of chemical compounds and testing them in different models for selecting the most effective and safest ones to clinical trials and introduction into medical practice. Cultured animal cells (both primary and transformed) are commonly used as models for compound screening. However, cell models display a number of disadvantages, including insufficient standardization (primary cells) and disruption of cell genotypes (transformed cells). Generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) offers new possibilities for the development of high-throughput test systems for screening potential therapeutic preparations with different activity spectra. Due to the capacity to differentiate into all cell types of an adult organism, IPSCs are a unique model that allows examining the activity and potential toxicity of tested compounds during the entire differentiation process in vitro. In this work, we demonstrated the efficiency of IPSCs and their neuronal derivatives for selecting substances with the neuroprotective activity using two classes of compounds – melanocortin family peptides and endocannabinoids. None of the tested compounds displayed cyto- or embryotoxicity. Both melanocortin peptides and endocannabinoids exerted neuroprotective effect in the neuronal precursors and IPSC-derived neurons subjected to hydrogen peroxide. The endocannabinoid N-docosahexaenoyl dopamine exhibited the highest neuroprotective effect (~70%) in the differentiated cultures enriched with dopaminergic neurons; the effect of melanocortin Semax was ~40%. The possibility of using other IPSC derivatives for selecting compounds with the neuroprotective activity is discussed.
KEY WORDS: test-system, embryotoxicity, neuroprotection, induced pluripotent stem cells, oxidative stress

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297919110075