GMP Cell CDMO I Peace, Inc., in collaboration with universities, has successfully converted human dermal fibroblasts into oligodendrocytes by direct reprogramming


PALO ALTO, California, September 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Koji Tanabe by I Peace, Inc. ( and a researcher Hiroko Nobuta of University of California, San Francisco (currently assistant professor at the Rutgers University) succeeded in direct reprogramming: the direct and rapid transformation of dermal fibroblasts into oligodendrocyte progenitor cells by inducing four genes into the cells. This research was conducted jointly with Prof. Wernig at Sanford University and Prof. Rowitch at UCSF. The research was published in the online edition of a scientific journal, Development June 24thth.

Oligodendrocytes are cells that form myelin around the axons of neurons, which act as insulators around the neurons, speeding up the speed at which electrical signals flow. Abnormalities in oligodendrocytes cause cerebral leukodystrophy. The production of large numbers of oligodendrocytes is necessary to understand their pathology, drug discovery and transplantation medicine. The conventional method of inducing differentiation of human iPS cells or ES cells into oligodendrocytes is inefficient and requires a long time for differentiation induction. Therefore, high costs are required for transplantation medicine and pathology clarification, which hamper development for early treatment and drug discovery. In addition, transplantation treatment has been accompanied by problems such as the possibility of tumor formation due to contamination of undifferentiated cells.

In this study, we successfully converted skin cells into oligodendrocyte progenitors without going through the stem cell state. SurprisedIndeed, oligodendrocyte progenitors produced directly from dermal cells eventually differentiated into functional oligodendrocytes that wrapped around neurons to form myelin sheaths both in vitro and in vivo after mouse brain transplantation. Furthermore, we successfully reproduced the clinical condition in vitro using oligodendrocyte progenitor cells co-generated from a patient’s dermal cells Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a type of congenital myelination disorder. PMD is a developmental disorder that occurs in children and is caused by an abnormality in the oligodendrocyte-specific gene PLP1. The gene abnormality is known to cause oligodendrocytes to die during differentiation in the brain, preventing myelination. Currently there is no basic treatment for the disease, only palliative treatment of symptoms such as movement disorders, spasticity and epilepsy. Direct reprogramming from this study successfully reproduced the pathological condition within a significantly reduced production time, which will surely accelerate drug discovery and development in the future.

After transplantation, the oligodendrocyte progenitor cells produced in this study were shown to grow into the mouse brain and wrap around neurons. Therefore, they are expected to be technically applied in regenerative transplantation medicine for other congenital myelination disorders and myelinopathy (multiple sclerosis, optic neuromyelitis, etc.), whose effective treatments are rare.

The link to the article published in Development journal is as follows:

The Rowitch and Wernig labs have said they have no financial interest in the company and that the company did not fund the research.

researcher Hiroko Nobuta set up a laboratory Rutgers University in New Jersey in Sept 2020. She works on drug discovery and regeneration research for myelin diseases using oligodendrocytes generated by direct programming.

i peace, inc.

i peace, inc. develops worldwide sales of GMP iPS cells and entrusted medical cell manufacturing services. The company was founded in 2015 by Koji Tanabea graduate of Professor Shinya Yamanakas lab at University of Kyoto and the second author of the article reporting on the successful establishment of the world’s first human iPSC cell line. Tanabe has been involved in iPSC development since the early days and works on innovative technical development every day to make iPSCs accessible to everyone through I Peace, Inc.

Our unique technology allows us to produce multiple donor-derived iPSCs in parallel without concerns of contamination and to offer large numbers of iPSCs at a reasonable price. We support drug discovery and cellular medicine development by offering our iPS cells and other cellular products as high-quality cellular products that meet PMDA and FDA standards for pharmaceutical companies and cellular medicine development companies. We are also promoting the production of iPSCs for individuals so that everyone in the world can future-proof their own iPSCs. We support pharmaceutical companies and cellular medicine development companies to bring cellular medicine to patients as quickly as possible. We aim to spread regenerative medicine as quickly as possible by establishing iPS cell banking services for individuals.

I Peace, Inc.
founderchairmanKoji Tanabe
headquartersPalo Alto, CaliforniaUNITED STATES OF AMERICA
subsidiary in JapanMe Peace, Ltd., Kyoto
Production site for iPS cells: Peace Engine Kyoto, Kyoto
Website :
media contact[email protected]

I Peace, Inc logo (PRNewsfoto/I Peace, Inc.)

I Peace, Inc logo (PRNewsfoto/I Peace, Inc.)



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