Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune inflammatory disorder affecting the central nervous system. The cause of the disease is unknown but both genetic and environmental factors are implicated in the pathogenesis. We derived cerebral organoids from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) of healthy control subjects as well as from primary progressive MS (PPMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS) and relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients to better understand the pathologic basis of the varied clinical phenotypic expressions of MS. In MS organoids, most notably in PPMS, we observed a decrease of proliferation marker Ki67 and a reduction of the SOX2+ stem cell pool associated with an increased expression of neuronal markers CTIP2 and TBR1. This dysregulation of the stem cell pool is associated with a decreased expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p21. Our findings show that the genetic background of a patient can directly alter stem cell function. This study also provides new insights on the innate cellular dysregulation in MS and identifies p21 pathway as a new potential target for therapeutic strategies in MS.

Journal Link: 10.1101/2022.06.24.497517 Journal Link: Publisher Website Journal Link: Download PDF Journal Link: Google Scholar