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A single cell high content assay detects mitochondrial dysfunction in iPSC-derived neurons with mutations in SNCA

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journal contribution
posted on 27.08.2020, 15:30 by Daniel Little, Christin Luft, Olukunbi Mosaku, Maëlle Lorvellec, Zhi Yao, Sébastien Paillusson, Janos Kriston-Vizi, Sonia Gandhi, Andrey Y Abramov, Robin Ketteler, Michael J Devine, Paul Gissen
Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease (PD). Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide a unique cell model for studying neurological diseases. We have established a high-content assay that can simultaneously measure mitochondrial function, morphology and cell viability in iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons. iPSCs from PD patients with mutations in SNCA and unaffected controls were differentiated into dopaminergic neurons, seeded in 384-well plates and stained with the mitochondrial membrane potential dependent dye TMRM, alongside Hoechst-33342 and Calcein-AM. Images were acquired using an automated confocal screening microscope and single cells were analysed using automated image analysis software. PD neurons displayed reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and altered mitochondrial morphology compared to control neurons. This assay demonstrates that high content screening techniques can be applied to the analysis of mitochondria in iPSC-derived neurons. This technique could form part of a drug discovery platform to test potential new therapeutics for PD and other neurodegenerative diseases.