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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 88-96

Review of past and present research on experimental models of moyamoya disease

Department of Neurosurgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Shuji Hamauchi
Kita-15, Nishi-7, Kita-ku, Sapporo - 060-8638
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2394-8108.166377

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Moyamoya disease (MMD) is characterized by a progressive steno-occlusive disease affecting the terminal portions of the cerebral internal carotid artery (ICA) and by formation of an abnormal vascular network at the base of the brain. Several pathogeneses, including inflammation, immune complex, upregulation of angiogenic factors, and abnormality of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been hypothesized. However, the mechanisms of MMD are largely unknown, and in vivo and in vitro models of MMD have not yet been established. Previously, inflammation- and immune-complex-related animal models have been reported but failed to reproduce severe stenotic lesions in the terminal portion of ICA. Thereafter, several clinical studies revealed that angiogenic activity of circulating EPCs was defective in MMD patients. These results suggested that the function and quantity of EPCs could be useful as a cellular model of MMD. Very recently, RING finger protein 213 (RNF213) was identified as an MMD susceptibility gene, a discovery that led to the efforts to generate gene mutation-based animal models. Although RNF213 knockout animal models have not yet successfully represented the phenotype of MMD, they have provided new insights into the role of RNF213 in remodeling after vascular injury and postischemic angiogenesis. Furthermore, the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and an appropriate differentiation protocol have made it possible to obtain abundant quantities of MMD-specific vascular cells. In summary, studies have shown that endothelial cells derived from MMD-iPSCs have impaired angiogenic activity, which is a finding consistent with the results of EPC studies. Further studies are needed to create true MMD-specific experimental models to promote understanding of MMC pathogenesis and aid drug development.

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