Human Autopsy-Derived Scalp Fibroblast Biobanking for Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease Research

Suet Theng Beh, Carlye Frisch, David A. Brafman, Jared Churko, Jessica E. Walker, Geidy E. Serrano, Lucia I. Sue, Eric M. Reiman, Thomas G. Beach, Lih Fen Lue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders/Brain and Body Donation Program at Banner Sun Health Research Institute (BSHRI) is a longitudinal clinicopathological study with a current enrollment of more than 900 living subjects for aging and neurodegenerative disease research. Annual clinical assessments are done by cognitive and movement neurologists and neuropsychologists. Brain and body tissues are collected at a median postmortem interval of 3.0 h for neuropathological diagnosis and banking. Since 2018, the program has undertaken banking of scalp fibroblasts derived from neuropathologically characterized donors with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we describe the procedure development and cell characteristics from 14 male and 15 female donors (mean ± SD of age: 83.6 ± 12.2). Fibroblasts from explant cultures were banked at passage 3. The results of mRNA analysis showed positive expression of fibroblast activation protein, vimentin, fibronectin, and THY1 cell surface antigen. We also demonstrated that the banked fibroblasts from a postmortem elderly donor were successfully reprogramed to human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Taken together, we have demonstrated the successful establishment of a human autopsy-derived fibroblast banking program. The cryogenically preserved cells are available for request at the program website of the BSHRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2381
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 30 2020


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • C9orf72
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • apolipoprotein E genotype
  • fibroblasts
  • human inducible pluripotent stem cells
  • postmortem
  • scalp explant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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