Advancing human pluripotent stem cell derived in vitro brain barrier models to investigate the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis

Principal Investigator
Prof. Dr. rer. physiol. Britta Engelhardt, Theodor Kocher Institute, University of Bern. For more information, please visit the website.

Dr. Hideaki Nishihara, M.D., PhD, Theodor Kocher Institute, University of Bern

Proper communication of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) requires homeostasis, which is ensured by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) at the wall of small CNS blood vessels. BBB breakdown is an early hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common neuroinflammatory disorder in young adults. How BBB dysfunction contributes to MS pathogenesis remains unknown. Establishing BBB models from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) has allowed us for the first time to model BBB dysfunction in MS. Here we will identify the MS specific BBB genetic signature to develop novel therapies for BBB stabilization in MS.