Next-Generation Stem Cell Therapy

induced motor neurons (iMN)

Somatic cells such as skin cells can be directly converted into induced motor neurons (iMNs) via direct conversion technology.

SuPine Therapeutics developed the technology for generating a large number of functional iMNs that exhibit therapeutic effects in spinal cord injury model.

Lee et al., eLife (2020)

Characteristics and Functionality
Characterization of iMNs

Direct conversion through self-renewing iMN-intermediate cells (iMNICs) enables large production of iMNs from somatic cells. iMNs express motor neuron-specific markers (HB9, ISL1, TUJ1, MAP2, NKX6.1 and CHAT) and synaptic markers (SYN1 and SV2). iMNs exhibit mature functionality such as the formation of neuromuscular junctions(NMJs) with myotubes. iMNs showed a high degree of similarity with wild-type MNs or fetal spinal cord tissues.

Electrophysiological properties

iMNs are electrophysiologically mature showing tetrodotoxin(TTX)-sensitive sodium currents.

Therapeutic potential of iMNs in vivo

iMN transplantation significantly improved recovery of hindlimb motor functionality in animal spinal cord injury model.

iMN-transplanted tissue show less cavity of injured site compared to control. Transplanted iMNs expressed neuronal marker and were surrounded by host myelinating oligodendrocytes