Massive Pacemaker Cells Produced in Parkinson's Breakthrough

Published June 13, 2022

Technology Networks published a story on a study led by Jian Feng, professor of physiology and biophysics in the Jacobs School. The research has important implications for developing future treatments for Parkinson’s disease, a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement and often includes tremors. “In this study, we find a method to differentiate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to A9 dopamine neurons (A9 DA), which are lost in Parkinson’s disease,” Feng says. “These neurons are pacemakers that continuously fire action potentials regardless of excitatory inputs from other neurons. Their pacemaking property is very important to their function and underlies their vulnerability in Parkinson’s disease.”