Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease of unknown etiology that affects the CNS. While current therapies are primarily directed against the immune system, the new challenge is to address progressive MS with remyelinating and neuroprotective strategies. Here, we develop a highly reproducible protocol to efficiently derive oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) and mature oligodendrocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Key elements of our protocol include adherent cultures, dual SMAD inhibition, and addition of retinoids from the beginning of differentiation, which lead to increased yields of OLIG2 progenitors and high numbers of OPCs within 75 days. Furthermore, we show the generation of viral and integration-free iPSCs from primary progressive MS (PPMS) patients and their efficient differentiation to oligodendrocytes. PPMS OPCs are functional, as demonstrated by in vivo myelination in the shiverer mouse. These results provide encouraging advances toward the development of autologous cell therapies using iPSCs.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.