Parallel neurodegenerative phenotypes in sporadic Parkinson's disease fibroblasts and midbrain dopamine neurons

M. J. Corenblum, A. McRobbie-Johnson, E. Carruth, K. Bernard, M. Luo, L. J. Mandarino, S. Peterson, M. A. Sans-Fuentes, D. Billheimer, T. Maley, E. D. Eggers, L. Madhavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Understanding the mechanisms causing Parkinson's disease (PD) is vital to the development of much needed early diagnostics and therapeutics for this debilitating condition. Here, we report cellular and molecular alterations in skin fibroblasts of late-onset sporadic PD subjects, that were recapitulated in matched induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons, reprogrammed from the same fibroblasts. Specific changes in growth, morphology, reactive oxygen species levels, mitochondrial function, and autophagy, were seen in both the PD fibroblasts and DA neurons, as compared to their respective controls. Additionally, significant alterations in alpha synuclein expression and electrical activity were also noted in the PD DA neurons. Interestingly, although the fibroblast and neuronal phenotypes were similar to each other, they differed in their nature and scale. Furthermore, statistical analysis revealed potential novel associations between various clinical measures of the PD subjects and the different fibroblast and neuronal data. In essence, these findings encapsulate spontaneous, in-tandem, disease-related phenotypes in both sporadic PD fibroblasts and iPSC-based DA neurons, from the same patient, and generates an innovative model to investigate PD mechanisms with a view towards rational disease stratification and precision treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102501
JournalProgress in Neurobiology
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Aging
  • Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Midbrain Dopamine Neurons
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Skin fibroblasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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